Station ramp project hit by fresh delays

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 July 2016

Alison Morgan and Andy Hull with the Channel 4 crew.

Alison Morgan and Andy Hull with the Channel 4 crew.

Archant

A project to install a disabled ramp at Nailsea and Backwell Railway Station has been hit by delays yet again.

Villagers have been campaigning for a ramp since 2008 so people with wheelchairs and pushchairs can use the trains.

A £1.23million Government grant was allocated for the work in 2011, but the start date was delayed due to urgent maintenance work and the funding deadline was missed.

In October last year, First Great Western (FGW) confirmed Nailsea and Backwell was its ‘highest priority’, but despite assurances work would begin in the summer the project has been put back again.

The arduous plight of the dedicated campaigners has now been picked up by Channel Four’s No Go Britain programme and crews visited Nailsea to interview Alison Morgan and Andy Hull who have been fighting for the ramp for eight years.

Alison, who is a member of North Somerset Council’s Disabled Access Group, said: “A film crew interviewed us about the never-ending saga of ramps at Nailsea and Backwell and the general horrors of using public transport as a disabled person.

“No Go Britain was appalled we have been campaigning since 2008. The programme is compiling a report into transport issues for disabled people across the country and highlighting the fact that, despite all the attention and investment following the 2012 Paralympics in London, very little has improved beyond the centre of London.”

James Davis, spokesman for Great Western Railway (GWR) which is the new name for FGW, said: “We remain fully committed to installing the ramp that will improve accessibility at Nailsea and Backwell, and GWR have set aside funding to make this happen.

“However, there are a number of technical and contractual issues to complete before work can start and we are working on these now with Network Rail.

“It is likely this will mean work will now start after the summer.”

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