Government denies local community money for station improvements!

Conservatives in the Erith and Thamesmead Parliamentary Constituency, led by Erith Councillor Bernard Clewes MBE and Belvedere Councillor David Leaf, have criticised the Government for refusing to provide a share of the £370 million available to improve access to rail stations serving the local community. The Access for All programme’s third tranche allocates funds between 2012 and 2015 to provide step free access at train stations to help disabled passengers as well as those with walking difficulties, pushchairs, in wheelchairs and with bulky luggage, but nothing has been allocated to local stations. Belvedere Councillor David Leaf, who had requested that local stations be added to the Access for All programme, said:

“This is a very disappointing result for the local community and the uncaring Labour Government has once again ignored the needs of this area. As a consequence of the Government’s refusal to earmark local train stations for access improvement, elderly and disabled passengers, as well as families with pushchairs, will continue to struggle to use the railways. We need to get more people using the trains and public transport, but yet again the Government are being very unhelpful.”

“In my correspondence with the Government on this issue the Department for Transport have recognised that access improvements along the Woolwich and Greenwich lines are required, but they are refusing to stump up any cash. While other parts of the country will benefit from the Access for All programme and funding, we will miss out.”

Erith Councillor Bernard Clewes MBE! added:

“Residents in wheelchairs find it impossible and those with pushchairs and walking difficulties find it a real struggle to access all of the platforms at local stations, especially Erith and Plumstead, where access is via a footbridge. We will continue the campaign and press the Government and Southeastern Trains to improve train station access.”

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