A RAIL station which is almost inaccessible for the disabled could be transformed under a £15m overhaul plan.

Ambitious proposals to provide extra parking and a new western footbridge at Eaglescliffe Rail Station, near Stockton-on-Tees, have been unveiled to combat booming demand there.

The new footbridge would create direct access from numerous businesses to the west of the station at Durham Lane Industrial Park.

Businesses there include Tetley Tea, Carroll & Meynell, Icon Plastics and RSM Solutions.

There is currently a £11m shortfall in funding but the case for action has now been heard by the Government’s rail minister.

Conservative parliamentary candidate for Stockton South, Councillor Matt Vickers invited Andrew Jones MP to see the station for himself on Saturday.

Cllr Vickers said: “The case for action at Eaglescliffe station could not be stronger.

“Footfall has increased by 174 per cent in the past decade. We desperately need to meet this growing demand.

“The new access will be crucial for passengers, ease congestion in Eaglescliffe, finally make the site accessible for the disabled and connect our global business park directly with London.

“Already we’re set to benefit from investment in upgraded trains serving Eaglescliffe, it would be great to secure these improvements to the station”.

“I discussed all aspects of the future of the station with the minister and he is keen to see the business case progressed”.

The Labour-controlled Stockton Council is working with the Tees Valley Combined Authority, park owner Hansteen and Network Rail to develop the plan and secure funding.

Current estimates show a project cost of £15m, with Network Rail indicating a contribution of £2m.

Wheelchair racing champion Lady Tanni Grey Thompson, who lives locally, has been highly critical of the station's disability access in the past, saying that having to pull herself up a steep 50m-long ramp was often the biggest challenge of her day.