Monday, November 28, 2005

 

Labour launches train station access petition

Members of the Aberavon Constituency Labour Party will this weekend be launching a petition campaign calling for significant improvements to be made to Port Talbot Parkway Railway Station to allow disabled people to access the platforms more easily.

The campaign has been backed by Aberavon’s MP Dr Hywel Francis and Welsh Assembly Member Dr Brian Gibbons.

Dr Francis MP said,

“The current situation where disabled people face great difficulty in accessing the train platforms is completely unacceptable. Passengers unable to use the connecting bridge, have to book 24 hours in advance, for staff to let them in through the station gate instead.”

“There is no service at all for disabled passengers when the station is unstaffed. This is clearly discriminatory.”

“Both Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales need to commit to improving the level of station accessibility. The companies are under a clear obligation to take steps to remove obstacles that act as a barrier to disabled people who want to access their services. Our petition calls on them to do exactly that.”

“Access is a huge problem not just for disabled people but also for young families with pushchairs and passengers with heavy luggage.”

Dr Brian Gibbons AM added,

“Things will be getting even worse once the new timetables come into operation in early December. With a train, on average, passing through the station every twelve minutes, it is difficult to see when they will be able to find the time to provide help to those who need it to access the platforms. ”

“Work also needs to be done to improve the appearance and general repair of the connecting bridge as well. Passengers, like myself and Hywel, who use the station on a regular basis know how dark and unpleasant it can be.”

“It not only puts people off from taking advantage of public transport, it also gives an incorrect impression of the town to visitors coming here for the first time.”

“Local people feel strongly that they are getting a raw deal from Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales on this issue.”

“We hope that they will take a few seconds of their time to sign the petition and give their clear support to our campaign to improve the state of the railway station to allow disabled people to have easy access to the transport that they need.”

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