Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney has added his voice to the renewed campaign to get disabled access at a Huddersfield rail station.
Mr McCartney, who is a member of parliament’s Transport Select Committee, said that access for all ‘should be a given’ at every station, especially considering plans to electrify the Transpennine network over the next few years.
His comments come after it was revealed that no plans have been made to improve Marsden station, more than three years since campaigners took their fight to have ramps installed to parliament.
Network Rail, who own the station, said that this was due to the failure of a recent bid to obtain a grant through the government’s ‘access for all’ programme, which last week offered support to 42 stations around the country to make them disabled friendly.
Mr McCartney said that he had taken up the issue with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin and would be ‘banging the drum’ for Marsden in the coming months.
He said: “Disabled access should be a given and it’s really important that everyone can use the stations, especially as electrification of train lines is rolled out, which will increase the amount of people using the line.
“I spoke with Patrick face to face about Marsden station and made him aware of the situation.
“However, there are issues with other stations in the area, such as Honley, which also need addressing.
“I will be banging the drum for Marsden and will write to ask them how they are going to make use of the extra funds that are being made available by the government to improve access”
He said that through the Transport Select Committee, there was an inquiry into disabled access on public transport, as many buses also suffer from a lack of access due to not having low floors.
Network Rail, who leases it to its manager, Northern Rail, said that work to improve access would only go ahead if both companies, along with local passenger transport access provider Metro bid worked together to apply again for funding in the future.
A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “We worked with partners at Northern Rail and other stakeholders to submit a bid for Marsden to receive funding under the Department for Transport’s Access for All Scheme which would have funded improvements to access at the station.
“Unfortunately the recent bid was not successful and there are no plans to enhance the access at Marsden station at this time.
“We will continue to work with partners to make sure the best possible arrangements are in place for less-mobile passengers.”
Want to read, watch and hear more? You can download the FREE Examiner Apple App here , the FREE Examiner Android App here or you can view the paper as an e-edition on your Apple, Android or Kindle device by clicking here
To follow us on Twitter click here