As part of Alfreton Town Councils campaign to improve facilities and access at the Town’s station, which has been ongoing for more than 25 years, representatives from East Midlands Trains and the Derbyshire Law Centre attended a recent Town Council meeting.
The meeting heard about recent works at the station including security and toilet upgrades and details of an extension to the current Franchise ahead of a formal announcement of a new East Midlands Railway Franchise, which is now expected in April. A variety of topics were raised by Councillors, with the discussions dominated by car parking and access challenges. Although the meeting was constructive, members were left frustrated with the limited information about the long-delayed access improvement project, where it is expected that clearer information on funding in Network Rails Control Period 6 would be available in April. It was also noted that the ongoing short extensions of the current Franchise was limiting opportunity to compete more substantial works to the car park where it was agreed a full review was required by the new Franchisee.
An update on a Discrimination claim, which had been initiated by the Town Council was provided by the Derbyshire Law Centre, who confirmed the final stages of the claim where being concluded ahead of the case being heard in court.
Finally, members expressed concern that fares to London via Chesterfield were more expensive than via Nottingham, which felt like a double whammy for less able passengers that had to travel that route due to the access restrictions to south bound services.
The meeting resolved to write to the Transport Minister and the local MP’s with constituents likely to use Alfreton Station, pressing for prioritisation of the access work. A further meeting is to be held with East Midlands Trains once the new Franchise has been awarded and funding for Control Period 6 confirmed. East Midlands Trains agreed to undertake urgent investigate concerns with the structure of the current bridge, clarity of disabled parking provision and visibility of the ticket machine in direct sunlight.