THE LIBERAL Democrats on BCP Council have criticised the Conservatives’ decision to spend £2.6million on Pokesdown train station.

Liberal Democrat Councillors questioned whether BCP Council taxpayers should be stepping in to fulfil the contractual obligation of South Western Railway to provide lifts at Pokesdown Station.

They say Parkstone and Hamworthy stations also have limited accessibility and described Branksome as 'totally inaccessible' for those with mobility issues.

On Tuesday, January 11, council funding for new lifts at Pokesdown Station was approved at full council, with the installation of the new lifts and improvements to the station set to go ahead.

Liberal Democrat deputy group leader Cllr Millie Earl said: “This is an example of why the merger of Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch was all wrong.

"The Conservatives' decision means Poole & Christchurch residents will be paying for the £2.6m for improvements to a Bournemouth train station, which isn't even owned by the council whilst train stations in Poole are not only inaccessible, but are also run down and hotspots for crime.

“You'd think the Conservative MPs across BCP could have sorted this out by making South Western Railway step up and fulfil their contractual obligation which was one of the reasons they secured the contract to run our train services in the first place.

“Three out of four Poole train stations are not accessible for those with disabilities, yet Bournemouth Conservatives expect Poole and Christchurch taxpayers to foot the bill for Pokesdown Station. Where are the improvements for our stations?”

The Lib Dems submitted an amendment at the meeting, which would have withheld the funds from being released until the lifts had been installed, however this amendment was voted down.