East Anglia Branch Gallery - Ipswich Station second footbridgeIpswich station is a major hub in East Anglia, with several London-Norwich trains calling each hour, along with the hourly, so-called rural, trains to Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Cambridge and Peterborough. Only the mainline trains destined for London and the local trains to Felixstowe are on the same side of the station as the entrance. Most passengers make use of a footbridge to access the island platform. However, there were no lifts or ramps so the station was not disability-compliant.
It was not practical to install lifts or a ramp on the existing footbridge so Network Rail decided to construct a second footbridge, north of the existing one, using modular components. Sensibly NR did not demolish the otherwise-acceptable existing footbridge so this means that Ipswich is one of few stations to have more than one footbridge.
View of the new disabled-compliant footbridge from the southCampaigners had been calling for a disabled-friendly footbridge for many years, and construction finally commenced in 2010, later than had been hoped. Completion also took longer than expected and it finally opened in June 2010.
One of the advantages of two platforms is that congestion will be lighter, at least for the mainline trains, although since none of the 'rural' trains are more than three carriages long most passengers use the same footbridge.
This view shows the two-carriage class 156 train that had just arrived from Cambridge on Saturday 24th June 2011. It is clear from the photo that the footbridge provides full protection from the weather. The stairs face south towards the station exit whilst the lifts are furthest away.
These photos were taken on the day of the Railfuture branch meeting in Ipswich.