Nearly a third of rail stations in Sussex inaccessible to wheelchair users

Preston Park Station (Pic: Google Streetview)

Preston Park Station (Pic: Google Streetview)

First published in News

Almost a third of railways stations in Sussex are still “inaccessible” to disabled people, according to disability campaigners.

It has been warned that not enough is being done to make stations wheelchair user friendly.

According to Southern Rail, more than 30% of its stations do not have full step-free access.

Of the 155 stations Southern manages, 34 stations are only partially step-free and 14 stations have no step-free access.


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Preston Park, Wivelsfield and Battle are among the stations not fully accessible.

Southern also admitted the information on its website was not up-to-date regarding access but said it was in the process of updating it.

Wheelchair user Kevin Towner, board member of the East Sussex Disability Association, said: “A significant number of Sussex stations are still inaccessible.

“Sometimes, if a station's exit is not accessible, you will be allowed to take a ride to the next station, then travel back to get off at the other side.

“However, this adds significant time to the journey and that is also assuming that the other side of the station is accessible.

“I don't think enough is being done. We've seen a bit of an increase in the amount of buses that which have been made accessible in this area but I don't see a huge change concerning the trains.”

A spokeswoman for Southern Rail said: “We have worked hard over many years to make year on year change to our network with regard to accessibility.

“We invest annually in access improvements with a ring fenced annually increasing budget. Step free access is only one part of improving access for all.

“For stations that currently are not step free we have invested in access improvements which could include additional seating, colour contrasting features, hearing loops, handrails to slope or ramps, lower ticket office counters and accessible toilets.”

Comments (4)

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9:36am Sun 20 Apr 14

alfiebo says...

Unfortunately , most stations were built before accessibility was such an important issue . Maybe a bit of give and take is needed on both sides in sorting this out . I do know what I'm talking about here as I am a wheelchair user .
Unfortunately , most stations were built before accessibility was such an important issue . Maybe a bit of give and take is needed on both sides in sorting this out . I do know what I'm talking about here as I am a wheelchair user . alfiebo
  • Score: 4

2:06pm Sun 20 Apr 14

csiiscool says...

Also if you need to get to the other side of the railway track of a station and you are disabled, you need to go to different station, which could cost more or go a long travel a further distance by travel to over the the railway lines via bridge or level crossing due to there is no subway, or the subway is not suitable for wheelchairs or the bridge which goes over the lines is not suitable for wheelchairs. Also the footpath which crosses the railway lines are not suitable as there is a style you need to climb to get over the railyway lines. They also stated the station is man, when it is not, ie East Worthing
Also if you need to get to the other side of the railway track of a station and you are disabled, you need to go to different station, which could cost more or go a long travel a further distance by travel to over the the railway lines via bridge or level crossing due to there is no subway, or the subway is not suitable for wheelchairs or the bridge which goes over the lines is not suitable for wheelchairs. Also the footpath which crosses the railway lines are not suitable as there is a style you need to climb to get over the railyway lines. They also stated the station is man, when it is not, ie East Worthing csiiscool
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Sun 20 Apr 14

Sussex jim says...

They appear to be building a massive ramp at Glynde station to help all those wheelchair passengers access the up platform there.
They appear to be building a massive ramp at Glynde station to help all those wheelchair passengers access the up platform there. Sussex jim
  • Score: 0

10:16pm Sun 20 Apr 14

rolivan says...

alfiebo wrote:
Unfortunately , most stations were built before accessibility was such an important issue . Maybe a bit of give and take is needed on both sides in sorting this out . I do know what I'm talking about here as I am a wheelchair user .
They have had 20 years to carry out changes how much longer will they be allowed?If access isn't available Then Network rail should pay for the cost of transport to the nearest facility . It is Public Transport not Able Bodied Transport.
[quote][p][bold]alfiebo[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately , most stations were built before accessibility was such an important issue . Maybe a bit of give and take is needed on both sides in sorting this out . I do know what I'm talking about here as I am a wheelchair user .[/p][/quote]They have had 20 years to carry out changes how much longer will they be allowed?If access isn't available Then Network rail should pay for the cost of transport to the nearest facility . It is Public Transport not Able Bodied Transport. rolivan
  • Score: -1

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