MP Nusrat Ghani at the opening of a new facility at Crowborough train station

Where people shop, go out, or travel should not be determined by their disability or additional needs.  I’m always working to secure more funding to support improvements to local infrastructure, services and facilities to make Wealden more inclusive for all residents, and I’m pleased that we have seen some fantastic progress recently.

Thanks to a share of £7 million Government funding, Wealden is able to deliver a boost to the provision of Changing Places toilets, which is an initiative I championed during my time as Transport Minister, and introduced to 22 motorway stations across the UK as part of the Inclusive Transport Strategy.  Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets with additional equipment and space for carers.

The Ashdown Forest Centre was chosen as one of the latest locations to benefit from this investment and I’m pleased to have joined the Conservators of the Ashdown Forest at the official opening.  The Ashdown Forest is a jewel in Wealden countryside and this new facility will ensure that it continues to be a welcoming destination, accessible to all visitors.

In more good news, the 1st Horam Scout Group and the 1st Buxted Scout Group have received a share of the Government’s Youth Investment Fund, which will deliver a new, fully accessible scout hut in Buxted and support refurbishments of current facilities in Horam. Since last year, Horam communities have also been able to benefit from the completion of Phase 1 of the Get Active Pathway, which has increased opportunities for all-weather physical activities such as cycling, scooting and walking, and enabled those with mobility issues to have better access to exercise locally.

Details of MP Nusrat Ghani's local surgeries

Additionally, easy access to transport is crucial, especially in a rural constituency such as Wealden, and I’m proud to have secured multi-million-pound accessibility upgrades to Eridge and Crowborough train stations.  As part of the £1.9m project, a new lift, ramp, footbridge and platform refurbishments were delivered at Eridge in 2022.  Crowborough train station has undergone similar improvements last year, as part of a £4.7m investment which delivered the installation of two lifts and brand-new footbridge, allowing passengers to get from one platform to another more easily and removing barriers to travel for all members of the local community.

These are all fantastic results for Wealden and I will continue campaigning for more improvements to ensure that our local infrastructure and facilities are accessible for all and fit for the future.