Raynes Park Station is on the announced list to get funding

3 Jun 2024
Lib Dem campaigners at Raynes Park station

I’m so pleased to be able to let you know that Raynes Park Station is on the announced list to get funding from the ‘Access for All’ fund for feasibility works on making it step-free.

Along with hundreds of other people, my team and I have been fighting to make our local stations accessible for years.

During the 2013 funding application round, the railway companies didn’t even apply for funding for Raynes Park and Motspur Park. 

We weren’t going to let that happen in the 2018/19 round, and fortunately the new railway franchisee was keen and the applications were made.

Crucially, an element of match funding from the local Council was promised for Raynes Park and Motspur Park Stations following a meeting Lib Dem Cllr Anthony Fairclough had with the then leader of the Council, and a motion backing improved accessibility at stations was passed at full Council.

This is a key part of any application, and Motspur Park secured Department for Transport funding in 2020. Works began in 2023.

Despite its huge passenger footfall, money was not allocated to make Raynes Park Station ‘step-free’, however. It was felt that Government uncertainty over Crossrail 2 had probably scuppered the application.

So for the 2022 round of funding we were prepared, my Raynes Park councillor colleagues met with rail companies and co-ordinated letters of support from the public. Even if Crossrail 2 went ahead it could be 20 or 30 years away.

We knew from our discussions with railway experts that having a ‘ready to go’ engineering plan was also important to attracting funding. In March 2022 we proposed that the Council work with others to establish such plans [see pages 7-8 of 10], as a major contribution to making our borough accessible. 

Disappointingly, local Labour councillors voted against taking this action.

Despite this setback I am pleased to say that Friday's announcement means that this planning and prep work is now being funded. This will hopefully mean full plans for lifts at Raynes Park.

Many of you will know we have been continuing to work to make other local train and tube stations accessible. Lib Dem councillors in Wimbledon Park have been lobbying TfL to change the staff rota at Wimbledon Park Station to reduce lift closures. There are also ongoing campaigns to secure a viable plan for a lift at Wimbledon Chase Station, and to get the relatively simple works done to make Haydons Road Station step-free.

Community action is key - campaigns like this have many moving parts and I wanted to thank everyone who has been involved - signed a petition, written a letter, lobbied their MPs or councillors. 

It shows that together we can achieve real change.

- Paul Kohler, May 2024

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