Scheme to install lifts at Smethwick railway station to start in January

A multi-million-pound project to improve accessibility for passengers at a railway station will start next month.

Smethwick Rolfe Street aerial view. Photo: Network Rail Air Operations
Smethwick Rolfe Street aerial view. Photo: Network Rail Air Operations

The £6.1m Network Rail investment, as part of the Government’s ‘Access for All’ scheme, will see two new lifts installed at Smethwick Rolfe Street station to provide step-free access to platforms one and two for the very first time.

It aims to help customers with reduced mobility, families with prams and those carrying heavy luggage.

The improvements will start on Monday, January 10, and are due to be complete by July.

Leanne Brooks, sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We’re really excited to be starting this work to provide lifts to platforms at Smethwick Rolfe Street which will provide step-free access to trains for everyone in the local community for the first time.

“We are working closely with the station operator, West Midlands Railway and Sandwell Council to ensure our work brings as little disruption as possible to neighbours and passengers.”

Brenda Lawrence, head of stations for West Midlands Railway, said: “Making sure the railway is accessible for everyone is a priority for us and these improvements will make a real difference to our customers.

“Train services will continue to run as usual throughout the work and we are already looking forward to unveiling these brand new facilities in 2022.”

There will be no disruption to train services while work takes place, but the station will look different with hoardings up around the construction site.

However, a lane on Tollhouse Way will need to be closed at certain times during the project.

It will be closed between January 10 and 12 for preparation work, and on April 30, May 7 and 14 for a crane to lower the new lift shafts into position.

The major station upgrade is due to be finished by July and has been funded by the Department of Transport’s ‘Access for All’ programme.

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