New bridges at Harpenden and St Albans stations

New footbridge at Harpenden station

New footbridge at Harpenden station - Credit: photo supplied

FIRST Capital Connect (FCC) has recently opened a new footbridge at Harpenden station, with St Albans station’s platform footbridge to undergo refurbishment from April 1.

Network Rail, which built the bridge at Harpenden, will commission the lifts in early April from which point passengers with heavy luggage, wheelchairs and buggies will have a far easier route to and from the platforms.

A spokesman for FCC said a revamped footbridge at St Albans would create a better crossing for passengers, in keeping with the rest of the station which benefited from a £5 million upgrade in 2009.

Network Rail will also be carrying out the work at the city’s station, FCC’s busiest outside the capital with over six million passengers a year.

A spokesman for FCC explained that the footbridge was in a poor state of repair as it leaked, the floor was uneven and water had penetrated the lift making it less reliable. The footbridge has been the subject of several passenger complaints in recent years.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director at Network Rail, said the organisation was committed to investing in improving infrastructure.

He added: “This is essential work which needs to be carried out. We thank the people using the station for their understanding.”

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Contractors May Gurney will spend six months stripping out the side panels, renewing the roof and putting in a new non-slip floor as well as new and brighter lighting.

The stair nosings will be replaced and new low and high level hand rails will be installed that are compliant with the latest disability legislation. The entire bridge will then be repainted.

The contractors’ site compound will be situated in the Ridgmont Road car park, taking up 13 spaces.

n A spokesman for FCC has warned that there have been several incidents where laser pens have been shone at train drivers along the Thameslink route.

He stressed that it was a criminal offence, even for juveniles, because of significant safety implications.

The spokesman added: “A laser pen has the potential to damage eyesight or blind someone. If that person is driving a train then this is dangerous for everyone on board. At best it will cause delays because the driver has to be relieved from duty. At worst it could cause a serious incident.”

The police or a FCC staff member should be alerted in those circumstances.