The Anonymous Widower

Garforth Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Garforth station is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current bridge,

This Google Map shows the station.

Leeds is to the West and York is to the East.

The Commuter Parking Problem

Like other stations in my exploration of some of the stations going step-free in the list, Garforth station is not ideal for commuters, who need step-free access.

The car park is ideally-placed for those travelling to work in Leeds.

  • The car park is currently free to rail users and after parking, you are ready to get a ticket and catch a train.
  • Passengers can if they need buy a ticket in the Ticket Office or a machine, if they need one.
  • Then without much ado, you just walk onto the platform and await the train for Leeds.

Coming back from Leeds is the problem.

  • The train arrives in the opposite platform.
  • To get to your car, you need to walk to the back of the train and cross over the iron footbridge to the other platform.

It is not an efficient procedure and it will be difficult, if you’re in a wheel-chair, are pushing a child or children in a buggy or you are trailing a heavy case.

To complicate the problem at Garforth station, the bridge must also be used to get to and from buses from the Leeds-bound platform.

A step-free route across the railway, with a higher capacity than the present bridge, is needed.

Replacing The Existing Bridge

The existing bridge could be replaced with a new brick-and-concrete structure with steps and lifts.

  • But this would effectively close the station for as long as it takes to rebuild the new bridge.
  • It would also need a temporary bridge or some other means of crossing the railway to be erected, during the construction period.

Sometimes, minimising the disruption a project creates, is a major part of the project costs.

Building A Second Bridge

Suppose though a second bridge was built at another position in the station.

It would have steps and lifts.

Once the new bridge is complete, the original bridge could either restored to create extra capacity or demolished.

This simple sequence means the following.

At all time, until the new bridge opens, there is as much capacity as there is now!

After the new bridge opens, there is extra capacity and step-free access.

The building of the second bridge, doesn’t disrupt trainms or passengers to any great extent.

In Winner Announced In The Network Rail Footbridge Design Ideas Competition, I wrote how the competition was won by this bridge.

So could a factory-built bridge like this be installed, towards the York end of at Garforth station?

If it could, it would have the following advantages.

  • Quality should be good for a factory-built bridge.
  • Work on site would be minimised.
  • The bridge could be delivered and assembled from the railway.

Costs might be more affordable.

June 3, 2019 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , ,


  1. […] Garforth Station To Go Step-Free, I discuss how such a bridge could be installed quickly at Garforth […]

    Pingback by Composite Footbridge Under Development « The Anonymous Widower | September 21, 2020 | Reply

  2. I think your idea of a second bridge is superb. prior to seeing your idea I had suggested to the local council and gocernment that this would be better all round and have the added bonus of protecting the grade ii listed foot bridge in Garforth. the listing is there to protect our heritage and in this instance it is the only one left in its original location. Thanks for your post.

    Comment by Julia Bickerstaff | October 21, 2020 | Reply

    • Other examples exist of the footbridge
      in the original positions at old NER stations, Hexham and Beverley off the top of my head, Goathland and more.

      Comment by John Land | August 8, 2022 | Reply

  3. Since, I wrote that post, another factory built bridge has emerged, that could be fitted in a small space.

    I wrote about it in.

    Network Rail ought to stop faffing around and start installing some of these bridges.

    In my view, Garforth would be an ideal location, as there is space on or around the existing platforms, which would enable the bridge to be put up without disrupting trains or passengers.

    Comment by AnonW | October 21, 2020 | Reply

    • Horrendous idea to demolish or remove this grade 11 listed bridge, a bridge that has been at the heart of Garforth station. There’s so many cheaper, more affordable alternatives that are completely ignored, continuously. We used to have a board crossing over the lines. People are so spoiled these days, there’s a 2nd station in less than a 10 minute walk from here with an Eye sore if a iron bridge which is step free, which can’t be used safely in winter m, why not use the station at East Garforth, like folk have for years and years and years. Why not create a step free path from platform 2 up to the roadside and just walk round, putting less than 3 minutes on to your journey. Oh no let’s spend millions on a complete eye sore, step free slippy when wet, unusable when freezes. Clever

      Comment by Michelle Bolton | December 16, 2022 | Reply

      • I said there is space to build a new step-free bridge at the other end of the station. This has been done at several places and the old bridge is then restored.

        This approach has been used at several stations in London. The big advantage is that a bridge is available at all times during construction of the new bridge.

        Comment by AnonW | December 16, 2022

      • Noticed Network Rail dismissed resiting the listed bridge further along the platform on costs grounds after creating a £164,000 p.a ‘Diversity’ Loon. N.R.NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE

        Comment by steve holmes | December 16, 2022

  4. Turns out those bed wetters at network rail have decided the beautiful historic footbridge is too good for Garforth and is packing it off to a tiny preserved railway down south thanks in no part to your support of its replacement.

    Comment by Steve Holmes | October 25, 2022 | Reply

    • I suggested another bridge be built at the other end of the station and the old bridge be restored.

      Comment by AnonW | December 16, 2022 | Reply

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