NO ACCESS FOR DISABLED ON RAIL NETWORK

Trains with no disabled access at Dumbarton Central and Dalreoch in Dumbarton. Steam train picture by John Kelenfoldi

By Paul Cassidy

A new report published by the Leonard Cheshire organisation has revealed that almost half of railway stations in Scotland are entirely inaccessible to many disabled travellers.

The report states that 47% of Scottish railway stations have no step-free access, leaving the entire network inaccessible for disabled people to travel on.

The findings of the report by Leonard Cheshire puts the UK Government’s 2030 target to make all rail journeys step-free by 40 years at the current rate of completion in serious doubt.

In Dumbarton, there are three stations that are not accessible, which are Dumbarton Central, Dumbarton East and Dalreoch.

Local Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie said:“The fact that almost half of Scotland’s rail stations including three in Dumbarton are inaccessible to disabled people is utterly unacceptable.

“Everyone in our society deserves to be able to travel and commute without barriers. That disabled people in Dumbarton today still face such obstacles is entirely wrong and action must be taken to ensure they are able to enjoy the same quality of life as others.”

 

One comment

  1. Given the total costs of running a railway it is absolutely incredible that more money cannot be found from within the budget to make more stations wheelchair friendly. But money is tight, or so they say, and budgets are not unlimited.

    A political commitment with a direction to Network rail to deliver more disabled access is what’s required.

    I’m not sure as Jackie Baillie says all of Dumbarton’s rail stations are disabled inaccessible.

    I use Dumbarton Central and I’ve seen wheelchair access being taken to the platforms- whereafter mobile ramps are provided to allow wheel chair access and egress from platform to train.

    That said the other Dumbarton stations may be wheelchair restricted ( Dumbarton East ) or wheelchair partially restricted ( Dalreoch ) and therefore what’s maybe needed is a direction to Network rail to speed up the delivery of more disabled access stations. Some of which will aside of passenger volumes be easier than others.

    Maybe however if we spent less on Trident nuclear weapons or two aircraft carriers one of which we might now want to sell, we might have more money to do more socially useful infrastructure investment. But that’s a political point and there are many who would have nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers at the expense of an NHS.

    Anyway, the sentiment about increasing wheelchair access at train station is a good one. But folks do need to decide their priorities.

    Like Universal Credit or being taken out of the EU it’s their call.

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