The Access for All programme was launched in 2006 to address the issues faced by disabled passengers and passengers facing mobility restraints (such as heavy luggage or pushchairs) when using railway stations. The funding is used to create an obstacle free, accessible route from the station entrance to the platform. This generally includes providing lifts or ramps, as well as associated works and refurbishment along the route. The programme has been extended to at least 2024.
Deal Town Council, in partnership with Southeastern Railways and Network Rail, successfully bid for Mid-tier funding in February 2020. Having budgeted additional Council funds towards the overall improvements, there is £105,000 of funding to improve accessibility at Deal station. This builds on the work carried out at the beginning of 2020 to provide better lighting from the platform up the slope to the London Road.
As at the beginning of 2021, Network Rail are working on some the project logistics before moving to the preliminary design phase. To ensure this work complements the Town Council's overall vision of the Station, the Transport & Infrastructure Committee has shared their paper Deal Station - Accessible Transport Hub with its funding partners.
DTC remains committed to securing major funding for a lift to be installed at Deal train station but the modest and important improvements that this current round of funding provides will greatly assist members of our community who have a disability or other mobility issues.
Despite the extreme impact the pandemic has had on our railways, Deal Town Council's Transport & Infrastructure Committee are committed to ensuring that trains, along with buses, walking & cycling are the cornerstones of our transport future. For a perspective on this please read the Council's submission to KCC's Rail Strategy 2020.