Station Access Campaign Continues And Launches Petition

Station Access Campaign Continues And Launches Petition

A local campaign to improve access at local train stations, particularly for disabled and wheelchair using passengers, has launched a petition on the Prime Minister’s website to call upon the Government to use some of the £370 million Access for All programme to fund the necessary improvements to deliver step free access to all platforms. No local stations in Bexley or on the Dartford to London via Greenwich line were originally included in the programme. However, following representations to the Department for Transport, Network Rail and South Eastern Trains by local Councillors Bernard Clewes MBE (Erith Ward) and David Leaf (Belvedere Ward) stations including Erith may be considered.

Attending the petition launch at Erith Station with Councillors Clewes and Leaf were representatives from the Bexley Access Group and Bexley and Bromley’s London Assembly Member James Cleverly.

James Cleverly commented:

“It is deeply saddening that we still do not have reasonable access to rail services in so many London stations. This affects not only disabled people but also parents of young children and older people who may find steep stairs difficult.”

“This really must be addressed and I will contact Transport for London to see what they can do to push for improvements in this area.”

Peter Weston from the Bexley Access Group remarked:

“These station and train problems for accessibility have been an ongoing issue for the last nine years – maybe more. It’s about time the government took action and put the money where its mouth is.”

Cllr Clewes said:

“Many of my constituents struggle to use Erith station. For those in a wheelchair it is impossible to access London bound trains and a real struggle for people in with pushchairs, heavy luggage and walking difficulties. We will continue to campaign for improvements to access.”

Cllr Leaf added:

“Improving station access would make a tremendous difference to the quality of life for many disabled commuters. By making it easier for people to use the railways, new employment and leisure opportunities would arise and more people would use public transport.”

“I was very disappointed to see that the Government had failed to include local train stations in the Access for All programme. It is grossly unfair that our local residents have missed out on this opportunity to make access improvements and we will continue our campaign and hope as many people as possible will sign our petition.”

Notes To Editors:

Petition can be signed online at: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Station-Access/

Photograph taken on action day, 5 July 2008.

Any enquiries about the campaign should be directed to Cllr David Leaf.

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