Priti Patel keeps up the pressure for Marks Tey upgrade
The Witham MP, Priti Patel, is keeping the pressure on Government and key stakeholders for a much needed upgrade to Marks Tey Station. Greater Anglia nominated the station in November for highest priority Access for All Funding but it was turned down in April. Priti has since made several representations to Ministers at the Department of Transport, urging them to reconsider this decision because of the pressing need for accessibility improvements at the station.
The Department for Transport (DFT) has announced that further rounds of Access for All Funding (£20 million fund) have been made available and station nominations must be submitted by 18th October, by train operators. The DFT has indicated that Marks Tey’s chances of receiving funding would be improved by significant match funding.
Priti said: “I have been urging Ministers to look at this again and I have been in touch with Jamie Burles, MD of Greater Anglia to ask what discussions they have had with key stakeholders about match funding. I have also contacted the Chief Executive of Colchester Borough Council, Adrian Pritchard and the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure at Essex County Council, Cllr Kevin Bentley, to ask for financial support for this vital upgrade”.
“The upgrade to Marks Tey Station is urgent as it currently has no step free access between the London Bound platforms and the branch line. Disabled passengers travelling to London using the Sudbury branch have to board a service for Colchester and then change again to catch a London bound service. The same scenario applies to the return journey, adding considerable inconvenience and distress for those with limited mobility, and travellers with pushchairs and children, as it involves a long flight of stairs. In the 21st century, this just isn’t acceptable.”
Greater Anglia’s original plan was to provide step free access via a new footbridge and through lifts to all platforms and station entrances. Priti will continue to press for these essential accessibility improvements at Marks Tey Station, working closely with key stakeholders to secure third party funding and investment from the Government.