MP challenges Transport Secretary to make all train stations accessible for disabled people

February 6, 2023 4:03 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

This afternoon, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper, urging him to make all railway stations accessible for people with disabilities.

It comes as new research reveals that more than one in 10 railway stations in Britain do not allow disabled passengers to "turn up and go" on some or all train services.

According to data compiled by the Association of British Commuters, a voluntary campaign group, six rail operators have staffing policies that mean disabled passengers cannot simply turn up and travel on certain services at nearly 300 stations.

Writing to Mr Harper, Tim said: "Many stations in our country still remain completely unfit for purpose for people with any kind of mobility issue.

"Here in South Cumbria alone, we have restrictive access issues at numerous stations including Arnside, Oxenholme, Ulverston and Staveley - where the platform is only accessible by climbing 41 steep steps.

"The Government's Access For All Scheme clearly aims to take steps to address this in a piecemeal way. However the scheme will only benefit a very limited number of stations and those smaller, stations in rural areas are far more likely to miss out on funding.

"When the Government says 'Access For All', it really should mean it.

"Back in October last year, I put forward an amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which would have placed a legal duty on you to make sure that every station meets national accessibility standards. Sadly this amendment was defeated by Conservative MPs on the committee.

"I implore you to reconsider this amendment and stop the discrimination that disabled people face every day on our railways."