CAMPAIGNERS are calling for lifts to be installed at Pokesdown Railway Station.

Currently the station, which according to Pokesdown Community Forum is the second busiest in the area with 312,000 users in 2011-12, is only accessible via 42 steps from road level.

The forum has launched an online petition which has already been signed by more than 400 people, and today members are meeting with Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood to discuss possible sources of funding.

Forum secretary Andy Jones said: “We are currently in consultation with South West Trains and Network Rail in order to try and remedy this totally unsatisfactory situation where the elderly, disabled and those with young families are unable to access the station platforms.

“Pokesdown is the main station for visitors to Boscombe, Southbourne and AFC Bournemouth, yet there have been no lifts working on the station for around 30 years.

“Government funds do exist to make stations accessible under the Access for All scheme, which has paid for 150 stations to be improved with lifts and ramps since 2006.

“A further £100m will be available from 2015 to 2019, but the Department for Transport is not currently considering Pokesdown.”

The forum has been joined in the campaign by a range of groups including Bournemouth Chamber of Commerce, Southbourne Business Association and Pokesdown Children’s Centre.

Mr Ellwood said he had already submitted a parliamentary question asking what plans were in place to improve the station.

“Pokesdown must be a priority, both because it is busy and because currently there is nothing in place to improve access,” he said.

To sign the petition visit petitions/ south-west-trains-network-rail-make-pokesdown-station-accessible