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Petition for step-free access at St Margarets station

22nd January 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Local people in Twickenham are campaigning for step-free access to be installed at St Margarets train station, which is currently described on Network Rail’s website as ‘inaccessible’. At the moment, elderly residents who use stair lifts at home and parents with pushchairs struggle to navigate the station, which has resulted in a petition being put forward with the support of local councillors.

The area has a large number of parents with young children and elderly residents alike, which has led the local community to take action to try to force a council debate over whether step-free access can and should be installed at the station.

Petitioners have declared the station not only dangerous but ‘impossible’ to manoeuvre without the help of passers-by to aid in the carrying of a push chair or to lend a helping hand to those with mobility issues.

Access for All?

In the case of some elderly residents, for whom home stair lift installation is the only way they can climb their own stairs, the access route to the platform at St Margarets Station is completely inaccessible. With no existing lifts nor ramp access for wheelchair users wishing to board trains at the station, St Margarets remains completely cut off for a significant proportion of the local population.

The Department for Transport has recognised the access problems at the station and an Access for All programme is already in place there. St Margarets Station, however, has so far missed out on the funding that is supplied by the programme and continues to cause problems for Twickenham’s older residents who rely on such mobility devices as walk in baths for the elderly to carry out daily tasks.

The petition being put forward by local residents needs 1,000 or more signatures to become the subject of a full council debate, but it is thought that the issue will be raised at a public transport liaison meeting at the end of January which the public are invited to attend but are not permitted to speak at. For more information on the petition, see the Richmond.gov.uk website.

Image Credit: Elliott Brown (flickr.com)