Councillor calls for station work to help disabled

TOWN councillor Jane Arnott has criticised the facilities for disabled passengers at Morley Low Station.

The station is currently undergoing a facelift, but access for disabled people is restricted to one platform.There is no wheelchair access to the Huddersfield bound platform 2.

Coun Arnott said "I arranged a trip for disabled children into Leeds by train. Going into Leeds there were no problems as there is wheelchair access to the platform where Leeds bound trains depart from. However, when we returned to Morley on the other platform we had to carry some of the disabled children up a flight of steps to leave the platform. We had to then go back and collect the wheelchairs from the platform and then carry them up the steps.

"I work with many groups in our community and through these groups have met many local residents who also have disabilities who cannot use our local train station."

"At a time when people should be encouraged to use public transport it would be great to give more local residents the chance to do so. A ramp from platform two would enable people with disabilities to lead a fuller and more active life by using Morley station to go Leeds and many other places. Parents with very young children could benefit from better accessibility to our station as they now have to carry prams and buggies up the steps and over the bridge."

"I believe that under recent legislation public buildings such as railway stations have to provide access for disabled people. Clearly Morley station does not comply with this legal requirement."

"I will be contacting Network Rail and the Town Council's highways committee to ask them to find out when the station will be upgraded to comply with the law. I believe this should be done by October, 2004.

"At the moment the railway station is only useful to disabled people if they are buying a one-way ticket and do not want to return to Morley. Anyone who encounters mobility impairments, including parents with pushchairs and people with luggage and shopping will find leaving the station difficult."

Anyone experiencing access problems at Morley Low Station should contact the Disability Rights Commission on Helpline 08457 622633.