Campaigners for new Pokesdown train station lifts ‘still waiting’ for promised ministerial visit (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Campaigners for new Pokesdown train station lifts ‘still waiting’ for promised ministerial visit
CAMPAIGNERS for new lifts at Pokesdown Railway Station are still waiting for a ministerial visit promised in March.
Andy Jones, secretary of Pokesdown Community Forum which is running the campaign, said they were concerned it might lose momentum if their meeting with minister Stephen Hammond was delayed for much longer.
Last month a petition with more than 1,200 signatures calling for the first working lifts at the station in three decades was presented to Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood to take to the Department of Transport.
“We were hoping he would have visited by now; this needs to move along soon or it will start to lose a bit of momentum,” said Mr Jones.
“One thing we discussed at the last forum meeting was perhaps a group of us going up to parliament to meet the minister there instead, and moving it forward that way.”
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”.
The company has not included it in the latest round of its stations eligible for funding from the government’s 2015-2019 Access for All scheme.
“We want Pokesdown included on the list for funding and we will need him involved,” added Mr Jones.
“People have been raising this issue with us for many months now and, since we have got the backing of local businesses through the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, councillors and Tobias Ellwood, it has really taken off.”
To sign the petition visit change.org/en-GB/petitions/south-west-trains-network-rail-make-pokesdown-station-accessible.
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