Work at Cheshire’s Handforth Station to prepare for their new lifts continues, and it is hoped that they will be in place by the end of next year.
Having cleared the site where the lifts and access footpaths are planned, Network Rail have recently completed drilling bore holes to determine the ground conditions.
The boreholes required access to the station via the flats on the west (Handforth) side of the railway line; during the three days of the work it was evident that boring is by no means boring, as many train users stopped to watch, intrigued by what was going on.
The results of the borehole tests will enable detailed design to commence. The Friends of Handforth Station (FoHS) have appointed an artist to work with Network Rail’s designers to enhance the new infrastructure, and are securing funding and grants for the artistic works. The intention is to design the artwork as part of the lifts and footpaths, rather than adding embellishments later.
Mike Bishop,founder and president of FoHS said, “We first proposed Access for All in the minutes of one of our earliest meetings in 1997 and have campaigned for this ever since. We were delighted when the then Rail Minister visited the station on 4 April 2019 to announce funding for the works, and are very encouraged to see Network Rail now progressing the scheme, despite delays due to the pandemic.
“The next stage is an Options Report, which will indicate where the lifts could be positioned, the location of access walkways/landings and waiting shelters, and more. We understand that the new lifts should be available to passengers by the end of 2022.”