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Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the merits of installing stair lifts to give access to (a) Leominster station and (b) other stations; and if he will make a statement. (113430)

Passenger stair lifts can provide an alternative means of access to railway platforms for people with reduced mobility unable to manage stairs. They must be staff operated and can only be used when they do not pose a safety risk.

While such solutions can be appropriate in some public buildings such as libraries, stair lifts are not generally suitable for a station environment where the flows of people are likely to be significant. They are also open to misuse and vandalism.

However, the Department may exceptionally grant a dispensation from “Train and Station Services for Disabled Passengers: A Code of Practice” where a station operator can demonstrate that it would be appropriate in the particular circumstances to provide a stair lift. Some of the factors that would be considered are the flows of passengers and availability of appropriately trained staff to operate the lift. If such a dispensation request is submitted for Leominster station, or any other station, it will be considered on its merits.