The bridge is a major asset to the station as it means that it is fully accessible to people with reduced mobility, who are now able to use the station for their outbound and inbound journeys.
There have been a number of unforeseen delays to the Access for All scheme, including unsuitable ground conditions, bad weather and waterproofing issues.
However, the completion of the scheme at the rail station – an important station for Warwickshire with nearly a million passenger journeys every year – means that rail travel opportunities are now opened up to a much wider community.
The scheme was made possible as a result of the Department for Transport’s Access for All fund, contributions from local housing developers and Warwickshire County Council. SLC Rail Consultants were appointed on behalf of the Council to oversee the delivery of the scheme in conjunction with Network Rail, station operators London Midland, and contractors.
Construction of the footbridge and lifts followed an extensive public consultation exercise to ensure that the new facility blends effectively with the historic station.
The completion of the Access for All scheme is the start of further improvements at the station as part of the Stratford Gateway scheme.
London Midland has secured £500,000 to develop the station from the Department for Transport’s National Stations Improvement Programme fund, which is administered by Network Rail and aims to improve station facilities to benefit passengers.
An additional contribution of £250,000 from Warwickshire County Council means that Stratford-upon-Avon Rail Station passengers can look forward to a new café, waiting room and retail area.
Councillor Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport & Planning, said: “Its good news for Stratford-upon-Avon and for Warwickshire that the footbridge and lifts are now open. We have faced a number of unforeseen challenges with this project which resulted in the delayed opening of the footbridge, so I am pleased that this very important addition is now fully accessible.
“Stratford-upon-Avon Rail Station is a key gateway into Warwickshire for tourists and businesses and I’m looking forward to the start of further improvements to the station in the coming months.
“Warwickshire County Council is committed to investing in the county’s transport infrastructure and I’m delighted that we are contributing to delivering these improvements, working with London Midland and Network Rail.”
Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of Warwickshire County Council’s Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee, said: “Rail passengers in Stratford-upon-Avon will feel the benefit of the completion of the Access for All scheme, which opens up one of our key rail stations to individuals that traditionally would have found it difficult to access. I welcome our support for the work that London Midland will be undertaking towards realising further improvements at the station.”