A NEW lift and footbridge is set to be installed at Chalkwell Station, after an MP was shocked by the “30 steep steps” to access the station. 

Anna Firth, MP for Southend West, has secured a commitment from the Treasury that Chalkwell train station will receive funding from the Department of Transport’s £350 million Access For All Fund. 

Construction to build the accessible lift and footbridge will begin in autumn this year.

Ms Firth visited the station recently, and was horrified to find it is the only station on the c2c that is not “access-friendly”. 

Ms Firth said: “I am extremely glad to have stood up in the chamber today and continued my campaign for greater access rights at Chalkwell Station.

“Our city prides itself on being highly accessible to everyone, but for too long Chalkwell Station has been the exception.

“I am delighted to announce that this will all change in autumn! We now have a share of the £350 million Access For All Fund which will be used to construct a lift and an accessible footbridge, meaning that every single station in Southend West will be accessible.

“I am extremely grateful to Helen Whatley for coming to Southend and taking a keen interest in this issue, I am genuinely proud of what we have achieved today.”

Earlier this month Anne Firth visited Chalkwell Station to speak to staff and see the lack of accessibility herself.

She also spoke to constituents about the issues around lack of accessibility, as well as the ward councillors, and representatives from c2c themselves, before the announcement in the House of Commons yesterday.

Nigel Folkard, councillor for Chalkwell ward, said: “I think this is fantastic news.

“It will be a relief to those who need that extra a bit of accessibility.

“For some time, we have been hopeful for an upgrade of the station, like this, so I think it is very good news and very good work done by our MP Anna Firth.”