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New accessibility improvements at Alton station get off to a sailing start

Alton cut the ribbon

• Completion of £150,000 scheme to make Alton station more accessible

• Officially opened today by Alex Rickham from the British Para-Sailing Team

Passengers using Alton station are benefitting from better access and facilities, following the completion of a £150,000 joint improvement scheme by South West Trains working in partnership with the Department for Transport, East Hampshire District Council and Hampshire County Council. 
The range of improvements to passenger facilities includes a new lower ticket window providing easy access for wheelchair users, a new disabled toilet and complete refurbishment of the existing toilets. New automatic doors have also been installed at the entrance and finally, the station has had a fresh coat of paint to complete its new look.
Platform accessibility issues have also been addressed by Network Rail with the relocation of the barrow crossing at the end of the platforms, making it easier for disabled passengers to get access from one side of the station to the other. Upgrades were also carried out to the footpath, lighting and fencing and a new waiting shelter will soon be installed.
To celebrate the completion of this improvement scheme, Alex Rickham, one of the tetraplegic sailors from the British Sailing Team attended the event as guest of honour. Alex Rickham met with local disabled children, regular users of the station from the local Treloar College and shared her own experiences and latest sailing success.   
Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said: "We want to encourage more people to switch to travel by train so I'm delighted the government has contributed £55,000 to Alton Station though our Access for All scheme. The works at this station will make travel easier for people with reduced mobility.”
Andy Pitt, South West Trains Managing Director said: “Alton station has benefitted from a significant improvement scheme to make the station more accessible and easier to use for all our passengers. We are pleased to have worked as part of a successful partnership to deliver these improvements and hope the changes will provide a much easier start and finish to the journeys of thousands of passengers.”
A spokesperson for East Hampshire District Council said: “As a District Council we are pleased to have been involved in the improvements at Alton Station as the facilities are now fully accessible, which will make a big difference to those who want to access train services in the area”.

In addition to Andy Pitt from South West Trains, Councillor David Willoughby Mayor of Alton and Councillor Andrew Joy from East Hampshire District Council, representatives from the local community including Treloar College and the Alton line users association attended, helping to mark the official opening of this important station improvement scheme.