Tak­ing steps to help dis­abled train pas­sen­gers

Bristol Post - - NEWS - Adam POSTANS Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter adam.postans@reach­plc.com

DOZENS of rail­way sta­tions across the re­gion that are dif­fi­cult for dis­abled pas­sen­gers to ac­cess are set to be made step-free.

The West of Eng­land Com­bined Au­thor­ity (Weca) is spend­ing £100,000 to come up with de­tailed plans of what is needed.

They in­clude Lawrence Hill sta­tion in Bris­tol where wheel­chair users have to travel in the wrong di­rec­tion be­cause its south­bound plat­form is ac­ces­si­ble only by steps.

It means peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties need to take a train back­wards one stop to Stapleton Road where they can use a ramp to get onto trains to cen­tral Bris­tol.

Weca com­mit­tee mem­bers ap­proved the money for a fea­si­bil­ity study at 27 sta­tions.

They also rub­ber-stamped more than £3.5mil­lion for the pro­posed Yate park and ride to build a 195space car park.

A re­port to the meet­ing said: “Im­proved pas­sen­ger fa­cil­i­ties and lev­els of ac­ces­si­bil­ity at rail­way sta­tions, and mak­ing them step free to en­able all pas­sen­gers to travel by train, is an ob­jec­tive within the Joint Lo­cal Trans­port Plan.

“A fea­si­bil­ity study is re­quired to de­velop an un­der­stand­ing of the scope and cost of works needed to make all sta­tions step-free.

“This would leave Weca well placed to make ap­pli­ca­tions for po­ten­tial new fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, such as through the Depart­ment for Trans­port’s Ac­cess for All pro­gramme, as these be­come avail­able.

“Fund­ing of £100,000 is sought to iden­tify the re­quire­ments at all West of Eng­land sta­tions.

“The po­ten­tial for con­tri­bu­tions from Net­work Rail, Great West­ern Rail­way and North Som­er­set Coun­cil is be­ing pur­sued.”

It said the aim was to make all plat­forms step-free from bus stops and car parks.

The cash is on top of £548,000 awarded by the Gov­ern­ment ear­lier this year, with Weca match fund­ing, to eight sta­tions - Fresh­ford, Lawrence Hill, Nailsea & Back­well, Par­son Street, Patch­way, Sev­ern Beach, Stapleton Road and Yate – for seat­ing, shel­ters and wayfind­ing.

The 27 sta­tions that will be part of the step-free fea­si­bil­ity study are: Avon­mouth, Bath Spa, Bed­min­ster, Bris­tol Park­way, Bris­tol Tem­ple Meads, Clifton Down, Fil­ton Abbey Wood, Fresh­ford, Keyn­sham, Lawrence Hill, Mont­pe­lier, Nailsea & Back­well, Old­field Park, Par­son Street, Patch­way, Pil­ning, Red­land,

Sea Mills, Sev­ern Beach, Shire­hamp­ton, St An­drews Road, Stapleton Road, West Mil­ton, We­ston­super-Mare, Worle, Yate and Yat­ton.

Mean­while, mem­bers ap­proved the next stage of the planned Yate park and ride after plans were sub­mit­ted in Septem­ber for the Bad­minton Road site next to South Glouces­ter­shire Coun­cil’s of­fices.

Lawrence Hill sta­tion where wheel­chair users have to take a train back one stop to a sta­tion where they can use a ramp to get onto trains to cen­tral Bris­tol

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