'Not good enough’ – disappointed campaigners vow to fight on for lifts at Pokesdown Railway Station

ACCESS: Andy Jones, front left, and other members of Pokesdown Community Forum

ACCESS: Andy Jones, front left, and other members of Pokesdown Community Forum

First published in News by

TRAIN bosses have said Pokesdown Railway Station receives too few passengers to get new lifts.

South West Trains – Network Rail Alliance said the station, which is only accessible via 42 steps from road level, ranks in the lowest third of stations on its network in terms of “passenger volumes”.

Therefore, the company claims, it is not a priority for accessibility improvements under the government’s 2015-2019 Access for All scheme.

A spokesman said: “Most of the rail network was built many generations ago when the needs of disabled passengers were regrettably not taken into account.

“We are working hard to put that right, however resources are finite and we have a duty to focus first on schemes that will help the most passengers and also deliver the best value for money to the taxpayer.

“Pokesdown is in the lowest third of stations on our network in terms of passenger volumes and the case for investment in improvements at other locations is greater.”

The company currently offers a free taxi service for passengers with reduced mobility, booked through its passenger assistance helpline, between Pokesdown, Bournemouth and Christchurch stations.

Last week Transport Minister Stephen Hammond agreed to visit Pokesdown in the near future and meet Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood and campaigners calling for working lifts to be installed there for the first time in 30 years.

Responding to the rail firm, Pokesdown Community Forum secretary Andy Jones said: “This is extremely disappointing to hear but not surprising, they have talked a lot about what they are doing at other locations but not Pokesdown.

“We don’t think this is good enough and we will continue to fight it.”

A petition set up by the forum last month now has more than 1,150 signatures, and Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood – who is backing the campaign – plans to present it to the Secretary of State in parliament.

To sign the petition visit change.org/en-GB/petitions/south-west-trains-network-rail-make-pokesdown-station-accessible

Comments (12)

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2:28pm Fri 28 Mar 14

pete woodley says...

Not enough customers,smack on.
Not enough customers,smack on. pete woodley
  • Score: 1

2:58pm Fri 28 Mar 14

StellaFierce says...

The thing is, there is no bottomless pot of money for this type of thing. It's sensible to prioritise the stations that will benefit the largest number of disabled people and I think Network Rail are rightly concluding that lift access at Pokesdown won't help as many people as lifts elsewhere might.

For local journeys, the railway between Bournemouth and Pokesdown is paralled by frequent and low-floor, accessible buses. Lifts at Pokesdown may allow a very limited number of people who travel regularly from the immediate vicinity of the station to the Lansdowne area to switch from bus to train, but that's all - it doesn't provide any new opportunities to travel by public transport beyond what already exist.

At the same time, many people travelling long-distance are likely to be better off using Bournemouth station as it is already accessible, has faster services to more destinations as well as plenty of staff on hand for assistance, and car parking.

So, the only people who would really benefit are those who are:
1) Travelling to one of the limited number of non-local destinations that have a direct train from Pokesdown AND
2) Live significantly closer to Pokesdown station than Bournemouth or Christchurch stations

I think the campaigners need to be a lot clearer on exactly what NEW journey opportunities would be opened up by lifts at Pokesdown, if they genuinely believe the case is that strong. "We want" isn't really enough of an argument.

(Quite frankly, Tobias has no business complaining about the rail network. We all know the Conservative government sold off the network for private profit in the first place, but more astoundingly they are sticking to their absurd pro-privatisation dogma by scrambling to make sure the publicly-run and *profitable* East Coast franchise is sold off to the private sector before the election - partly by re-jigging the timetable for re-tendering by granting arbitrary, uncompetitive extensions to private operators such as South West Trains and Cross Country.)
The thing is, there is no bottomless pot of money for this type of thing. It's sensible to prioritise the stations that will benefit the largest number of disabled people and I think Network Rail are rightly concluding that lift access at Pokesdown won't help as many people as lifts elsewhere might. For local journeys, the railway between Bournemouth and Pokesdown is paralled by frequent and low-floor, accessible buses. Lifts at Pokesdown may allow a very limited number of people who travel regularly from the immediate vicinity of the station to the Lansdowne area to switch from bus to train, but that's all - it doesn't provide any new opportunities to travel by public transport beyond what already exist. At the same time, many people travelling long-distance are likely to be better off using Bournemouth station as it is already accessible, has faster services to more destinations as well as plenty of staff on hand for assistance, and car parking. So, the only people who would really benefit are those who are: 1) Travelling to one of the limited number of non-local destinations that have a direct train from Pokesdown AND 2) Live significantly closer to Pokesdown station than Bournemouth or Christchurch stations I think the campaigners need to be a lot clearer on exactly what NEW journey opportunities would be opened up by lifts at Pokesdown, if they genuinely believe the case is that strong. "We want" isn't really enough of an argument. (Quite frankly, Tobias has no business complaining about the rail network. We all know the Conservative government sold off the network for private profit in the first place, but more astoundingly they are sticking to their absurd pro-privatisation dogma by scrambling to make sure the publicly-run and *profitable* East Coast franchise is sold off to the private sector before the election - partly by re-jigging the timetable for re-tendering by granting arbitrary, uncompetitive extensions to private operators such as South West Trains and Cross Country.) StellaFierce
  • Score: 3

3:42pm Fri 28 Mar 14

muscliffman says...

A very sensible decision - and based upon common sense for once.

Pokesdown Station is geographically far nearer to other local railway stations with perfectly good accessibility facilities than most of us residents are to any railway station at all.
A very sensible decision - and based upon common sense for once. Pokesdown Station is geographically far nearer to other local railway stations with perfectly good accessibility facilities than most of us residents are to any railway station at all. muscliffman
  • Score: 3

3:46pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Morrigan says...

Out of those passengers who want this lift, I wonder exactly how many are actually DISABLED enough to NEED a lift?

Sure we all feel tired after a days work and climbing 42 steps is a struggle, but if you're not disabled then it actually helps keep you fit ..... besides which, train tickets are expensive enough as it is - without us having to subsidize lifts for those who cam use stairs, but would prefer not to :o/
Out of those passengers who want this lift, I wonder exactly how many are actually DISABLED enough to NEED a lift? Sure we all feel tired after a days work and climbing 42 steps is a struggle, but if you're not disabled then it actually helps keep you fit ..... besides which, train tickets are expensive enough as it is - without us having to subsidize lifts for those who cam use stairs, but would prefer not to :o/ Morrigan
  • Score: 1

6:38pm Fri 28 Mar 14

oy@Bmth says...

The operative words in all this is NEW lifts. There are lifts which Southwest Trains Staff & Network rail Staff use they just are not set up for Customers to use - There are a large number of disabled & Elderly customers who want to use Pokesdown but cant use the stairs so have to go to either Bournemouth or Christchurch stations by BUS which is another fare on top of the train fair
The operative words in all this is NEW lifts. There are lifts which Southwest Trains Staff & Network rail Staff use they just are not set up for Customers to use - There are a large number of disabled & Elderly customers who want to use Pokesdown but cant use the stairs so have to go to either Bournemouth or Christchurch stations by BUS which is another fare on top of the train fair oy@Bmth
  • Score: -1

6:47pm Fri 28 Mar 14

pete woodley says...

oy@Bmth wrote:
The operative words in all this is NEW lifts. There are lifts which Southwest Trains Staff & Network rail Staff use they just are not set up for Customers to use - There are a large number of disabled & Elderly customers who want to use Pokesdown but cant use the stairs so have to go to either Bournemouth or Christchurch stations by BUS which is another fare on top of the train fair
Rubbish,tell the truth.just how many disabled and elderly have you been in touch with.
[quote][p][bold]oy@Bmth[/bold] wrote: The operative words in all this is NEW lifts. There are lifts which Southwest Trains Staff & Network rail Staff use they just are not set up for Customers to use - There are a large number of disabled & Elderly customers who want to use Pokesdown but cant use the stairs so have to go to either Bournemouth or Christchurch stations by BUS which is another fare on top of the train fair[/p][/quote]Rubbish,tell the truth.just how many disabled and elderly have you been in touch with. pete woodley
  • Score: 1

7:38pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Boscombe1899 says...

Just a few facts and points to balance the SWT PR out.

Other stations of similar size do receive funding... For example Llandaf in Cardiff is a similar size (although already accessible on one side) but has still won funding from access for all. One wonders why SWT are not looking at what happens in other networks? Whilst granted there are differences between say Llanduf (one station down is not accessible either yet) the fact there is absolutely no access for disabled, pushchairs, luggage etc at Pokesdown and the population demands of the area should also be taken into account.

Passenger numbers at Pokesdown are grossly under counted. Even SWT admitted this in a meeting.

It's not just about the disabled. It's about regenerating the immediate area. It's about people with pushchairs etc etc.

SWT fail to point out here their alternatives require booking 24 hrs in advance. Sorry, I make no qualms that we should improve our local area, and don't accept this somehow common sense when we have a run down station that so many simply can't use (causing extra car journeys etc). There is a strong economic argument which can be found on the Pokesdown Forum Website. Stella, you argue there needs to be stronger point made, but I don't think a brief article in the Echo can get facts across. Check out the website and hopefully you will see the strength or argument.

Ultimately I think our whole network should be much much better. It's not a race to the bottom and see who can have the worst station.

What I do concede is that there is not the resource to do complex modelling to illustrate increased journeys, I'm surprised at the response being received of anecdotal evidence suggesting this. I for one would get out of my car in the morning as I'm disabled:)

http://pokesdowncomm
unityforum.btck.co.u
k/CampaigntoMakePoke
sdownStationAccessib
le/PokesdownStationW
hyItIsGoodForTheEcon
omy
Just a few facts and points to balance the SWT PR out. Other stations of similar size do receive funding... For example Llandaf in Cardiff is a similar size (although already accessible on one side) but has still won funding from access for all. One wonders why SWT are not looking at what happens in other networks? Whilst granted there are differences between say Llanduf (one station down is not accessible either yet) the fact there is absolutely no access for disabled, pushchairs, luggage etc at Pokesdown and the population demands of the area should also be taken into account. Passenger numbers at Pokesdown are grossly under counted. Even SWT admitted this in a meeting. It's not just about the disabled. It's about regenerating the immediate area. It's about people with pushchairs etc etc. SWT fail to point out here their alternatives require booking 24 hrs in advance. Sorry, I make no qualms that we should improve our local area, and don't accept this somehow common sense when we have a run down station that so many simply can't use (causing extra car journeys etc). There is a strong economic argument which can be found on the Pokesdown Forum Website. Stella, you argue there needs to be stronger point made, but I don't think a brief article in the Echo can get facts across. Check out the website and hopefully you will see the strength or argument. Ultimately I think our whole network should be much much better. It's not a race to the bottom and see who can have the worst station. What I do concede is that there is not the resource to do complex modelling to illustrate increased journeys, I'm surprised at the response being received of anecdotal evidence suggesting this. I for one would get out of my car in the morning as I'm disabled:) http://pokesdowncomm unityforum.btck.co.u k/CampaigntoMakePoke sdownStationAccessib le/PokesdownStationW hyItIsGoodForTheEcon omy Boscombe1899
  • Score: -2

7:56pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Bournefre says...

oy@Bmth wrote:
The operative words in all this is NEW lifts. There are lifts which Southwest Trains Staff & Network rail Staff use they just are not set up for Customers to use - There are a large number of disabled & Elderly customers who want to use Pokesdown but cant use the stairs so have to go to either Bournemouth or Christchurch stations by BUS which is another fare on top of the train fair
It says in the article:
The company currently offers a free taxi service for passengers with reduced mobility, booked through its passenger assistance helpline, between Pokesdown, Bournemouth and Christchurch stations.
In other words there is so little demand for this lift it's more cost effective to ferry disabled passengers to Bournemouth or Christchurch in a taxi than put in this lift which may or may not get used but would be there just in case.
[quote][p][bold]oy@Bmth[/bold] wrote: The operative words in all this is NEW lifts. There are lifts which Southwest Trains Staff & Network rail Staff use they just are not set up for Customers to use - There are a large number of disabled & Elderly customers who want to use Pokesdown but cant use the stairs so have to go to either Bournemouth or Christchurch stations by BUS which is another fare on top of the train fair[/p][/quote]It says in the article: The company currently offers a free taxi service for passengers with reduced mobility, booked through its passenger assistance helpline, between Pokesdown, Bournemouth and Christchurch stations. In other words there is so little demand for this lift it's more cost effective to ferry disabled passengers to Bournemouth or Christchurch in a taxi than put in this lift which may or may not get used but would be there just in case. Bournefre
  • Score: 3

8:10pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Boscombe1899 says...

Bournefre wrote:
oy@Bmth wrote:
The operative words in all this is NEW lifts. There are lifts which Southwest Trains Staff & Network rail Staff use they just are not set up for Customers to use - There are a large number of disabled & Elderly customers who want to use Pokesdown but cant use the stairs so have to go to either Bournemouth or Christchurch stations by BUS which is another fare on top of the train fair
It says in the article:
The company currently offers a free taxi service for passengers with reduced mobility, booked through its passenger assistance helpline, between Pokesdown, Bournemouth and Christchurch stations.
In other words there is so little demand for this lift it's more cost effective to ferry disabled passengers to Bournemouth or Christchurch in a taxi than put in this lift which may or may not get used but would be there just in case.
Again just to correct this point - obviously the person from SWT hasn't been to Pokesdown:) This service (which in reality is never going to be used by people because it has to be booked in advance and is not available to people with pushchairs, luggage etc) is not mentioned anywhere at the station so almost nobody would know about it...until now though. The posters do not mention this service at all and there is no signage at all about it anywhere.
[quote][p][bold]Bournefre[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]oy@Bmth[/bold] wrote: The operative words in all this is NEW lifts. There are lifts which Southwest Trains Staff & Network rail Staff use they just are not set up for Customers to use - There are a large number of disabled & Elderly customers who want to use Pokesdown but cant use the stairs so have to go to either Bournemouth or Christchurch stations by BUS which is another fare on top of the train fair[/p][/quote]It says in the article: The company currently offers a free taxi service for passengers with reduced mobility, booked through its passenger assistance helpline, between Pokesdown, Bournemouth and Christchurch stations. In other words there is so little demand for this lift it's more cost effective to ferry disabled passengers to Bournemouth or Christchurch in a taxi than put in this lift which may or may not get used but would be there just in case.[/p][/quote]Again just to correct this point - obviously the person from SWT hasn't been to Pokesdown:) This service (which in reality is never going to be used by people because it has to be booked in advance and is not available to people with pushchairs, luggage etc) is not mentioned anywhere at the station so almost nobody would know about it...until now though. The posters do not mention this service at all and there is no signage at all about it anywhere. Boscombe1899
  • Score: 2

11:06pm Fri 28 Mar 14

hooplaa says...

'The company currently offers a free taxi service for passengers with reduced mobility, booked through its passenger assistance helpline, between Pokesdown, Bournemouth and Christchurch stations.'

What exactly is the problem?!

Go out and enjoy life! Forget the lift campaign it isn't that important!
'The company currently offers a free taxi service for passengers with reduced mobility, booked through its passenger assistance helpline, between Pokesdown, Bournemouth and Christchurch stations.' What exactly is the problem?! Go out and enjoy life! Forget the lift campaign it isn't that important! hooplaa
  • Score: 1

2:10pm Sat 29 Mar 14

kalebmoledirt says...

Block and tackle, or Bosuns chair sorted
Block and tackle, or Bosuns chair sorted kalebmoledirt
  • Score: 1

3:59pm Sat 29 Mar 14

pete woodley says...

Its another attempt at "publicity" for Pokesdown.
Its another attempt at "publicity" for Pokesdown. pete woodley
  • Score: 0

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