The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,
Declares that Chinley station on the mainline between Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield is inaccessible as the only access to the platforms are via steep steps; further that Chinley station is situated at the heart of a growing commuter village which acts as the gateway to the Peak District; and further that members of the Chinley and Buxworth Transport Group have continued to campaign for further improvements, as transport should be accessible for everyone.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department for Transport to make improvements to Chinley station so that the public can have level access to the railway at Chinley.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Ruth George, Official Report, 12 March 2018; Vol. 637, c. 682.]
Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Ms Nusrat Ghani):
I recognise the importance of improving accessibility at rail stations as part of the whole journey experience. Much of our station infrastructure is Victorian and is therefore not accessible to many disabled passengers, which is why we have invested in improving accessibility of our railway through the Access for All programme.
For previous rounds of funding, stations were selected based on their annual footfall, weighted by the incidence of disability in the area. We also took into account the priorities of the industry, the availability of third party funding and local factors such as proximity to a hospital, together with consideration of geographic spread across the rail network.
In the last round of funding the Train Operating Company, Northern, did not nominate Chinley station. All of the Access for All funding has now been allocated to projects until spring 2019, but we will be making further funding available for rail accessibility in the next control period (2019-24). We will be announcing further details of how funds will be allocated later this year, but it is likely that the criteria used to select stations will be broadly similar to the process used for earlier tranches of the programme.
For schemes such as Chinley to be considered for future funding, it is likely that they will also need strong industry support and ideally a proportion of match funding to help weight the business case.