I can announce that Kidsgrove Railway Station has been included in the next tranche of access for all funding. Campaigners have fought for years for the station to be considered for a government grant. As it stands, people with disabilities cannot get across the footbridge due to 3 flights of steps. Not only does the current bridge affect the disabled, but also people with pushchairs and the elderly. It is estimated that the cost of replacing the bridge with a ramped bridge is in the region of at least £3 Million. This is some of the biggest investment Kidsgrove has seen in a very long time and is welcomed by many people in the local community. Joan Walley MP has fought a long battle with the department of transport in parliament and finally the work has paid off. Last year the community pulled together, signed petitions and wrote letters to Transport ministers. Joan Walley, Jon Honeysett MBE, Councillors, the friends of Kidsgrove Station and key local figures should be thanked for all of their hard work to make this dream a reality.
In an email to campaigners and supporters, Joan wrote:
I am delighted to be able to tell you that all our efforts to campaign for disabled access at Kidsgrove Railway Station have been successful- the Department for Transport have today announced that Kidsgrove has been included in the next tranche of Access for All funding!
This wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t put together such a strong campaign and I want to thank you for all your efforts on this. I believe this could be truly transformational for the town. We must now get on with the planning stage so that this bridge is built as soon as possible and we must also work to get integrated bus services in the town too.
I will be organising a follow up meeting to take forward our plans and I will let you know about this asap.
Canal dredging has finally taken place at the Hardingswood junction to Harecastle Tunnel, North Portal following a local campaign to clean up Kidsgrove Canals. Jon Honeysett MBE, Joan Walley MP, Kidsgrove Town Councillors, local IWA Branch officers, and members of the public who traverse the towpath from Harecastle Tunnel’s North Portal, look forward eagerly to the cleaned-up section, cleared of obstructions, completed by 20th December 2013, enabling work to proceed on brightening up Kidsgrove’s Heritage Waterfront from 2014 onwards.
On Friday 1st November, a meeting took place at Kidsgrove Town Hall with the Canal River Trust, Kidsgrove Town Team and members of the Kidsgrove Community. The meeting was to outline future plans to be displayed in the Town Hall on Saturday 30th November – a new Kidsgrove Waterfront Project is now considered a part of the larger Kidsgrove Transport ‘Hub’ plan being promoted by Staffordshire County Council and East Midlands Trains.
Jon Honeysett said: “the Uplander Wharf has been dredged and the boats are floating beautifully and not sticking as before.
“Beyond the bridge is still to be dredged and so far hundreds of tonnes of muck have been removed – an unbelievable amount.”
The Photographs show the dredging sequence taken on the morning of Thursday 21 November 2013, between the road overbridge into the railway station car park (full!) and Hardingswood junction. By kind permission of the Canal and River Trusts’ contractor, James Dennis, of Land & Water Services Ltd. Photo’s were taken on site of tugs and loaded barges – the dredged mud-spoil is taken by heavy lorry, seen being loaded by Mr Richard Drover, to a spoil-site at Haydock, near the M6 at Runcorn.
The next section to be dredged is up to the Harecastle tunnel entrance, and will hopefully, remove the obstructions currently blocking the navigation.
Sarah Honeysett has kindly shared recent photographs of the canal dredging preparations and beautiful autumn scenes. Please do not reproduce without written permission.
I am writing to congratulate Jon Honeysett who has been awarded an MBE for services to rail in Kidsgrove. I have worked with Jon on several occasions since being elected to Kidsgrove Town Council and his knowledge of the railway and Kidsgrove is breathtaking. Jon is a member of Kidsgrove Environmental Watch Response Group and is also involved with North Staffordshire Pensioners’ Convention and is a member The Spitfire Society. Jon has also compiled a document for Kidsgrove known as ‘access for all’. This was handed to East Midlands Trains and Staffordshire County Council in September 2011. The purpose of the document was to assist with funding bids for the ramped over bridge and transport interchange that Jon so passionately believes in. The lack of wheelchair access means that disabled passengers cannot access platforms two, three and four, from which popular services to Manchester, London, Derby and Crewe depart. Parents with pushchairs have also complained.
I know Jon has done so much work with other groups and organisations and I just wanted to say thank you. He deserves this honour more than anyone I know and the people of Kidsgrove and surrounding communities are very greatful for everything he has done.
Councillor Kyle Robinson