No plans for station access improvements

By Jake Chown  
Wednesday 17th January 2018 11:41 am
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PLANS for the refurbishment of Chepstow Station are being developed by Network Rail, but there are no current plans to improve accessibility despite concerns.

Currently Chepstow Station does not have a lift or other accessible means for travellers to go from platform two to platform one, with rail travellers needing to use the existing footbridge to pass between the platforms.

The cast iron footbridge, which is Grade II-listed, is earmarked for refurbishment by Network Rail, but a date is yet to be set.

A letter by Mr Cédric Krummes to a number of organisations including Monmouthshire County Council and Arriva Trains Wales, which operates Chepstow station, has raised concerns about accessibility at the station.

“I don’t live in Wales but I work in Chepstow,” Mr Krummes wrote in a letter seen by the Beacon. “I noticed that Chepstow train station does not have a lift or any other accessible means for travellers to go from platform two to platform one. Instead, travellers need to use an old, ill-lit, rickety-rackety footbridge.

“Having lived in Gwynedd and on Anglesey previously, I am familiar with the Bangor train station and it is comparable to Chepstow: owned by Arriva Trains Wales, two platforms, two basic directions. Bangor station, however, has a lift permitting travellers to go from one platform to another.”

“At present, wheelchair users need to go to Newport need to the a train the reverse direction and board a train from there. Perhaps you could calculate the number of minutes lost if only they could board the right train from Chepstow.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are currently developing plans for the refurbishment of Chepstow station footbridge.

“Unfortunately there are a number of stations across the country which were built many years ago with little consideration of accessibility. 

“DfT has a dedicated fund, known as ‘Access for All’ which is used to make improvements at stations. We would be delighted to work with funders should a new round of Access for All funding become available.”

A letter from Raj Bain from DfT to MCC seen by the Beacon says there are no current plans for a scheme to improve accessibility at Chepstow.

“We are not aware of any plans to improve accessibility at Chepstow,” Mr Bain wrote. “The station was nominated for Access for All in 2013 but was only the 12th ranked choice of Arriva Trains Wales and the 220th busiest of the 278 stations put forward for the funding. It was not therefore selected as it would have been difficult to justify its inclusion in the programme ahead of other busier stations with a higher industry priority.”

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