MP calls on transport chief for action at Whitchurch

North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan has called on the Secretary of State for Transport to support a bid to finally make Whitchurch’s railway station fully accessible.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey with wheelchair user Becca Proctor at Whitchurch Railway Station, where 44 steps must be navigated to reach Platform 1.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey with wheelchair user Becca Proctor at Whitchurch Railway Station, where 44 steps must be navigated to reach Platform 1.

She has written to Grant Shapps urging him to support a campaign for step-free access to the southbound platform. Anyone currently wishing to use platform 1 at the station has to manage 44 steps in two flights and a footbridge.

This means disabled people and those with mobility issues are not able to board trains heading towards Shrewsbury or get off any services arriving at Platform one. Rail operator Transport for Wales has applied for step-free access to the southbound platform under the Access for All scheme from April 2024 - with the application supported by a 500 name petition.

The rail company currently arranges taxis for passengers in need – when it is aware of the request in advance – or customers have to travel to the nearest step-free stations of Wrenbury (eight miles away) or Prees (six miles away).

In the letter she said: "A new bridge was installed by Network Rail several years ago but unfortunately this was done on a like-for-like basis and made no provision for disabled access.

"There were a number of meetings to discuss the surrounding area of the station over the years to consider the possibility of making the station step free but this has never progressed."

Talking to the Shropshire Star she said: “It is ridiculous that it is 2022 and yet we still have railway stations which are of no use to people with disabilities or mobility issues.

“I am pleased there now appears to be some movement towards finally making Whitchurch Railway Station accessible for everyone.

“I am sure the Secretary of State will agree with me that people should not have to navigate steps to access the station and I look forward to him backing the funding application.”

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey recently visited Whitchurch station to see for himself the problems some commuters face.

The outcome of the funding application will be known by the end of the year.

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