Anger over Norfolk railway station’s access for disabled
- Credit: Archant
Rail bosses have been accused of passing the buck over making it easier for disabled people to use a Norfolk railway station.
George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, has claimed some frustrated disabled people have resorted to taking trains to Norwich in order to head towards Cambridge because they cannot cross the platforms at Wymondham station.
While work on a footbridge was carried out over the summer, a long ramp was installed, which had made it easier for people in wheelchairs and with disabilities.
Mr Freeman wanted to know whether the ramp could be put in place permanently, so wrote to Network Rail and Greater Anglia Abellio to find out if that was possible.
In the responses, Network Rail said it would be up to Greater Anglia Abellio to sort out the issue and Greater Anglia Abellio said the ramp could not stay for the long term because Network Rail needed access to the sidings which it crosses.
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And that led to an accusation from Mr Freeman that the two companies are 'passing off' the issue between themselves without providing any real answers.
The Conservative MP said: 'All passengers should have access to the rail network and the disabled should not be excluded. It's plain wrong that because of a lack of facilities some disabled passengers are having to take the train to Norwich to change platforms and come back to Wymondham to cross the line.
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'That's why I have raised this with Network Rail and Abellio and believe that a serious effort now needs to be made to install a permanent ramp at Wymondham Station to stop this unfairness.'
An Abellio Greater Anglia spokeswoman said the company was trying to improve access, but that Network Rail needed to use the siding, so the ramp could not remain in place.
She said: 'We will continue to work with Network Rail to try and find a realistic solution.'
A Network Rail spokeswoman said the sidings were part of the operational railway and said: 'We will continue to work with Abellio Greater Anglia to to try and find a solution to the issues that have been raised about improving accessibility at this station.'
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