Work has commenced on major accessibility improvements at Athlone Train Station. These improvements are designed to give greater access to those with mobility and sensory impairments as well as offering improved facilities to families travelling with small children and those travelling with heavy baggage.
Improvements include a new footbridge which encompasses fully accessible lifts. There is also improved external lighting on the footbridge. Both platforms will be fitted with tactile strips to assist those with visual impairment. The overall platform lighting will be significantly upgraded. Induction loops will be installed on the platform to assist those with hearing impairment and help points will also be fitted.
Inside the station a split level ticket counter will make obtaining tickets easier for those with mobility impairment, particularly wheelchair users. The ticket office area will also be fitted with induction loops for the hard of hearing. A fully accessible toilet will be installed. Internal surfaces will be significantly upgraded with slip resistant flooring and colour contrast strips on the walls. All exterior doors will become automatic. A dedicated pedestrian walkway will be provided from the street to the entrance of the station.
All this work will be completed without disruption to existing passenger services and is scheduled for completion in spring 2009.
Iarnród Éireann ensures that the company’s record investment programme, funded by the Government under Transport 21, incorporates improved facilities for customers with disabilities in the design of new trains, new stations, station improvements, and other customer facilities. Investment in accessibility on the Galway route is totalling €12 million.