New Government funding has been announced for disabled passengers and for new stations, but is it enough? Plus, severe floods bring closures near the Welsh border. Here’s this week’s round-up:
Rail lines forced to shut in Shrewsbury amid severe flooding
Severe flooding this week forced rail lines to close in and out of Shrewsbury amid rising river levels in Shropshire.
Two severe flood warnings, meaning a threat to life, were in place for the River Severn at Shrewsbury and at the Wharfage, Ironbridge.
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Parts of the River Severn reached their highest level on record, according to the latest Environment Agency data.
At Welsh Bridge in Shrewsbury, the Severn stood at 5.07 metres at 12.45pm on Tuesday – just below the all-time record of 5.25 metres, set on November 1 2000. Read the full story here.
New £20 million funding for disabled access improvements
Disabled passengers across the UK are set to benefit from a £20m fund to improve accessibility at railway stations, the Transport Secretary has announced.
Grant Shapps says the enhancements, funded through the Access for All programme, will include new lifts, accessible toilets and customer information screens.
The announcement comes in the same week that a new government campaign launched to improve the journeys of disabled passengers on public transport. Read the full story here.
£20m funding for new railway stations across the country
A new £20 million fund to build new railway stations and restore some that were previously closed has been announced by the Department for Transport.
The fund is part of the Government’s £500 million drive to reverse the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. Some 5,000 miles of track were closed with the loss of around 2,300 stations as part of the re-shaping of BR.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said disused railway stations are “emblematic of left behind towns for too long”. Read the full story here.
CrossCountry add more carriages to ease overcrowding
Extra seats will be added to some of Britain’s most overcrowded train services, the Rail Minister has announced.
Chris Heaton-Harris said £2.5 million of Government funding will pay for CrossCountry to operate trains with more carriages.
Services running from Birmingham to Nottingham, Leicester and Cardiff will get more than 5,000 additional seats per week from May. Read the full story here.
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The North-East has plenty to offer visitors, although that may not include extensive railway activity. However, it is home to one of the few rapid transit systems in the UK, the Tyne and Wear Metro.
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