Billingham Station will get step-free access by the end of 2022, Network Rail has confirmed after an intervention from Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham – with the organisation committing to look at all options to “accelerate the project”.
After he raised concerns with the speed of the work at Billingham Station, Network Rail told Alex that the station would be made step-free by mid-2023 at the latest – three years after the station was awarded Access for All funding. Alex then sought a review by the Chief Executive of Network Rail to look at the timescales of the project which resulted in their commitment to have the work finished by the end of 2022.
This was confirmed by the Rail Minister in a written parliamentary question submitted by Alex.
“I’m really pleased that Network rail agreed to review their timescales to make Billingham Station step-free – and even happier that they’ve committed to a 2022 end date for the project.
“It is simply not on that a train station in the twenty-first century doesn’t have step-free access to its platforms. Local people and councillors have been campaigning with me on this issue for some time, and I hope this commitment from Network Rail give everyone assurance that the station will see much needed improvements.
“While it’s still some time off, the end of 2022 gives us a time to aim for. I’ll continue to hold Network Rail to account and press them to carry out the work as quickly as they can to ensure everyone can access Billingham Station.”
Billingham Station is the only one in the Tees Valley without any form of step free access – lifts or ramps – to its platforms. It was included in the Access for All scheme in February 2020. Responding to Alex’s letter Network Rail have confirmed that design work is being carried out and contracts awarded for the work.