I am delighted the preparation work needed to make Handforth Station step free has now begun. 

The multi-million pound investment will see lifts installed at the station and was made possible by funding from the government’s Access for All scheme. 

When I became MP for Tatton one of the first groups I met was the Friends of Handforth Station who told me how important lift access was and what a difference it would make at the station and to the local community, so I made it my mission to get Handforth Station included on this once in a generation government scheme. 

After a series of meetings, I had with ministers and officials at the Department for Transport it was eventually confirmed government would fund these lifts at Handforth station. 

Work initially started in 2021, but due to an electricity cable being discovered underneath the southbound platform, the scheme had to be paused.

All the necessary safety work (to deal with the cable) has now been completed, which allows all preparatory work needed to deliver the lifts at the station to restart.

I have spoken to Network Rail and am being kept up to date with their schedule of work.

Last week mechanical and electrical surveys were carried out and this week borehole work around the station will get underway.

Once all the survey work is completed, engineers and designers will start on final designs for the station with the project completed in Autumn 2025. 

Network Rail also assured me it is committed to keeping disruption to a minimum and to informing residents of progress and of possible noise when essential work is being carried out. 

I have to thank the Friends of Handforth Station who campaigned tirelessly for 20 years on this issue, their commitment and dedication to making this happen has been unfaltering.

With support from Cheshire East Council, Handforth Parish Council and Northern Rail the initial bid was submitted for government’s Access for All funding. Together we have made this project a reality.