The much-awaited ramp at Glynde Railway Station has been formally opened.
The launch of the new ramp, which is situated on the site of the old milk delivery run, took place on Friday.
Glynde Parish Councillor Jane Stevens cut the ribbon, joined by Lewes MP Norman Baker, Viscount Hampden of Glynde, local residents and councillors, and representatives from Network Rail and Southern management.
The path is the latest in a series of accessibility improvements made at Southern stations which have benefitted from £325,500 of government funding. The funding came from the Department for Transport small schemes fund, which is part of the Access for All programme.
Southern has managed the project which had its own particular needs as the overriding factor for it was that it was in keeping with the local area.
That meant that for the facade, brickwork rather than the normal concrete materials was used, on the ramp’s surface Tarmac was used to give it a ‘softer’ overall look, ornate lantern-style lamps with energy saving LED bulbs were installed and the CCTV columns were painted black to blend in as much as possible with the Glynde Estate.
Blending in was so important to the project team that even the soakaway was hidden so it would be more aesthetically pleasing.
Jane Stevens said: “We are all delighted with the new ramp which at last provides step-free station access for both local residents and visitors to our lovely village and the surrounding area. This will make the world of difference to us all but especially those with limited mobility, children in buggies or people with lots of luggage.
“Working with Southern on this project has been a real pleasure – their refreshingly inclusive approach has enabled the community to be involved in the process from the start.
“It has been a great collaborative journey and we are also very appreciative of the wonderful folk who built it – doing an excellent job in record time whilst toiling in mud and rain through one of the wettest winters ever!”
Southern’s Accessibility Manager, Kirsty Monk, said: “We’re delighted with the new ramp, and it’s great that the local community has been so supportive. Accessibility is extremely important at railway stations and this new ramp really will make a lasting difference to those who use it.”
Southern is owned by Govia, the UK’s busiest rail operator, responsible for almost 30 per cent of passenger rail journeys through its three rail companies, Southern, Southeastern and London Midland.