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Railway Stations: Accessibility

Volume 670: debated on Thursday 30 January 2020

I thank the Minister for that answer. She and I have met before and she has been incredibly helpful, but I am getting frustrated now. I know she will not be surprised to hear that I am referring to Lawrence Hill station in my constituency, which has been waiting such a long time; I know there are funds and application processes, but is it not time the Government admitted that all stations, which people need to use, should be accessible and just got on with making them all accessible?

The hon. Lady will know that most of our railway stations were built in an era when no thought was given to accessibility, let alone to parents and people with wheelchairs. That is why we have a £300 million fund, which is supporting over 73 stations, and another tier of £20 million for smaller upgrades. I know that there are two stations in her constituency in the review, and she will not have to be patient for much longer.

Will the Minister urge Network Rail to get on with the level access improvements at Alfreton station and urge East Midlands Railway to scrap its plans to end the direct train services to London from my constituency, which would make it harder for disabled passengers to get to stations south of Nottingham?

I am a little cautious about the second point, but I will most definitely do what my hon. Friend asks on the first. Network Rail has a duty to make sure its stations have decent accessibility, and where there is no accessibility, the rail operating companies have a duty to make sure passengers can carry on with their journey.