Pokesdown station is still without working lifts, leaving passengers with 42 steps to climb to ground level. The existing lift shafts are not for the public, they are 90 year-old goods lifts that were never intended for passenger use. This means that they will need to be replaced by accessible passenger lifts.
Your Conservative Council, despite opposition from Labour, allocated £2.6m towards the lifts' construction and station enhancements from the Future Fund. South Western Rail and Network Rail have agreed to match this and pledge a combined £3.1m. However, we are still without a commitment from them for when the lifts will be completed.
We want the station to be something that local people can use and be proud of, which means making it accessible for all residents. To do this we must continue to put pressure on Network Rail to prioritise Pokesdown Station. Even with the £5.7m of funding allocated, Network Rail is still saying that they are not able to provide an accurate time frame until the design is complete later this year, but this is simply not good enough.
We are calling on Network Rail to speed up the tender process and award the contract sooner to make sure that the work can commence as early as possible.
Our MP Tobias Ellwood has raised concerns in parliament.
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