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Step-free access for Chinley Station

Volume 714: debated on Tuesday 10 May 2022

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the lack of step-free access at Chinley Station denies access to public transport for many local residents with disabilities.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to note the need for step-free access at Chinley Station and reallocate funding to complete this project following Network Rail’s completion of a viability survey of the station.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Robert Largan, Official Report, 27 April 2022; Vol. 712, c. 844.]


Observations from the Minister of State, Department for Transport (Wendy Morton):

The Department for Transport is committed to improving accessibility at railway stations. However, many stations, including Chinley, date from a time when the needs of disabled customers were simply not considered. Since 2006, the Access for All programme has installed accessible, step-free routes at over 200 stations. Around another 1,500 stations have also benefited from smaller scale access improvements, including at nearby Hadfield station.

The Department is currently in the process of setting the funding envelopes for the next control period 2024-2029. We therefore hope to be able to seek industry nominations for the next tranche of stations shortly.

If funding for the 2024-2029 period does become available, any station, including Chinley, without an accessible route into the station and to all platforms will be a potential candidate. I would therefore recommend that the petitioners engage with the train operating company, Northern, with a view to them submitting a nomination once the nomination period begins.

As in previous tranches, the criteria used to select stations is likely to include: annual footfall, weighted by the incidence of disability in the area, the availability of third party funding for the project, and the priorities of the rail industry itself. We also take into account local factors such as proximity to a hospital. Stations will also be selected ensure a fair geographical spread of projects across the country.

The Government are committed to improving access at all stations and will continue to seek further opportunities and funding, to provide more improvements. The Department for Transport is making strides to ensure a safer network for disabled passengers and improving accessible rail journeys for all passengers.