Network Rail ban on traffic to affect elderly
4th June 2014
A ban on traffic from Waverly Station in Edinburgh by Network Rail is thought to have a negative impact on the elderly and those with reduced mobility. There are claims that the ban has been poorly thought out by the company and there are concerns over the impact on the area’s disabled and elderly residents.
Train stations are often at the centre of calls for improved access and many across the country have received funding in a bid to make them more appropriate and useable for those who rely on mobility aids and straight stairlifts in the home, much like Pontypridd Station’s renovation bid as detailed in this previous article. Yet this latest move by Network Rail has given cause for concern over the state of access to the Edinburgh Station, where there are worries that elderly and disabled visitors to Waverly Station may be inconvenienced.
From Monday 2nd June, Network Rail taxis will no longer be able to pass through the security barriers at Waverly Station, meaning that train users will have to make their way to the station platforms without any motor assistance. The £1 million anti-tourism barriers have been the subject of much controversy for Edinburgh City Council, with this latest restriction looking to prove even more disruptive.
With individuals taking to the Edinburgh Waverly Station Facebook page in the past to share their anxieties over the accessibility of the station, these latest developments look to increase public concern.
The announcement of making Waverly Station a vehicle-free zone is said to be a move towards increasing passenger and pedestrian safety and an increased capacity for the predicted growth of the station, whilst also complying with (DfT) Department for Transport security guidance.
Despite the new proposals raising concerns over accessibility for those who use the station and rely on such aids as walk in showers, baths and hand rails, the vehicle restrictions are ultimately thought to improve safety for all affected.
Image Credit: tim t. (flickr.com)
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