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Nearly a third of rail stations in Sussex inaccessible to wheelchair users
6:00am Sunday 20th April 2014 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.”
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