A BCP Councillor has condemned the speed of construction work by South Western Railway at Pokesdown Station.

Council members were advised back in January that a single option design and high-level costing for the lifts project would be completed by the end of May.

However, with a meeting due to take place on July 1, BCP councillors including Cllr Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Transport, will look to clarify where SWR are with the current works.

Boscombe East and Pokesdown Ward Councillor Andy Jones said: “Like so many local people I am sick to death of this project dragging on with no action and wanted reassurance that something was happening behind the scenes.

“This project should have been completed six months ago at the latest after years of campaigning and yet nothing appears to be happening.

“I have asked repeatedly for a project plan to include a start date for the works but never receive an answer.”

Pokesdown station still has no lifts despite it being required in South Western Railway’s franchise agreement.

Under the current franchise, this work should have been completed by December 31, 2019.

Yet community campaigns, which started in 2011, and a petition signed by over 2,000 people which was subsequently handed in person to a minister within the Department for Transport have not moved the project on any further.

The fractured communication between SWR and BCP Council and locals has led to growing unrest among residents.

Whilst the station has continued to the presence of "capable guardians" and additional signage has helped reduce the number of fatalities at the station, councillors and citizens are frustrated by the lack of information about construction work.

South Western Railway have said that they are comitted to improvinig the accessibility at Pokesdown Station and will continue to liaise with BCP Council on the project.

A spokesperson for SWR said: “SWR is committed to making the railway as accessible as possible through both physical improvements, including smaller schemes such as new handrails, and supporting measures such as the ongoing boarding points trial and the new sunflower lanyard scheme’

“Other more structural improvements to the railway take longer to deliver, but we are committed to improving the accessibility of Pokesdown station and, as promised, will be updating BCP Council on the latest position following the completion of a technical report in early July.

"This had been expected to be at the end of May but has been delayed by Covid-19 like many projects around the country.”