Totnes train station: Disability campaigners call on Network Rail to fix broken lifts

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Tuesday 22nd October 2019 10:48 am
[email protected]
Share

The lifts on the new £1.5m footbridge have never worked (Credit: Millicent Cooke)

Subscribe newsletter

Subscribe to our email and get updates right in your inbox.

Disability campaigners are calling on Network Rail to make good on its promise to fix the lifts at Totnes train station by the end of October.

Inclusive Totnes is also urging the rail company and Great Western Railway (GWR) to make the station even more disabled-friendly by installing a second ticket machine and disabled loos on both platforms.

Work on the new £1.5m footbridge began in April 2018, but the two lifts central to the costly development have never worked.

This has caused much “annoyance” to disabled and elderly passengers and those with heavy luggage, Inclusive Totnes says.

Network Rail blames “ongoing technical issues with a safety aspect which allows the lift to be operated remotely” for the lack of use.

A spokesman said that the work has now been carried out and “testing is currently taking place.”

He said: “The testing needs to be complete before the lifts can be considered safe for public use, which is normal.

“It is also carried out with the company that makes the lifts, Stannah, as well as GWR.”

The spokesman said the company expects the lifts to be up and running by the end of October.

Inclusive Totnes, a network aiming to overcome access and inclusion barriers and build a sense of belonging for people with disabilities, says it has heard similar promises from Network Rail before.

Co-founder Sarah Collinson said: “The new lifts are a big step forward in improving access to station facilities – but only if they work.

“Part of the problem is that there has been no information provided on when the issue would be resolved, which has been incredibly frustrating. Even the station staff seemed to be in the dark. To make it worse, earlier promises to complete the works have simply not materialised.

“Our hope now is the GWR and Network Rail will make good on their promises.”

Working lifts will be a huge improvement to the thousands of passengers who use Totnes station each year, a significant number of whom have mobility or other disabilities, Sarah added.

“A working lift is one thing but we believe GWR and Network Rail must do more, including putting in place an additional ticket machine and having disabled toilets on both sides.”

Comments

To leave a comment you need to create an account. |

All comments 0