Appeal for ramp at Nailsea and Backell Station
Appeal for a ramp at Nailsea and Backwell Station gains momentum as mums join the fight for better access
A MOTHER-of-two from Backwell is appealing for a ramp to be installed at Nailsea and Backwell Station as she is unable to get her pushchair up the steps without help.
Satoko Black often uses the train but says she cannot get her pushchair up and down the steps unless a passer-by gives her a hand.
She said: “I use the train regularly, commuting to Weston twice a week. I have to take my bike so I can cycle to Weston College. I am pregnant and I am unable to get my bike onto the platform without assistance from a passer-by, if there is one.
“I also have a one-year-old daughter and I cannot get my pushchair up and down the steps. This is therefore preventing me from accessing public transport.”
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After just two weeks of talking to passengers at the station, Satoko has collected more than 294 signatures on a petition requesting an access ramp.
The determined mum has sent the petition to Network Rail, which owns the station, and First Great Western, which leases the station from Network Rail.
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Satoko said: “This shows that there is strong public feeling to improve the station at Backwell for all users.
“The current service does not meet the needs of the customers. The accessibility to platform one is discriminatory and not accessible to those who are disabled, elderly or a person with a pram or bicycle.”
Satoko is one of many residents desperate to see a ramp installed at the station. In 2008 the Times reported how members of Backwell Access Group were appealing for a ramp so people with wheelchairs can access the trains.
There is currently no ramp on the south platform so disabled passengers have to get off at Bristol on their return journey and catch a taxi. Disabled passengers must also warn train operators a day in advance of when they will be travelling.
A spokesman for First Great Western said: “We have looked at the logistics of disabled access for Platform 1, and have made a submission to the Department for Transport, however it should be noted the cost of installing a ramp at Nailsea and Backwell would be very high.
“For customers who may require help on the train or at their destination station we can arrange assisted travel by calling 0800 197 1329.”