Gainsborough: Bridge plans for Gainsborough Central would leave families and disabled people stranded

David Prescott with campaigners protesting against the bridge changes
David Prescott with campaigners protesting against the bridge changes

Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for Gainsborough and Brigg and Goole have joined forces to back transport campaigners who say new station bridges will discriminate against the disabled and young families.

Gainsborough candidate David Prescott along with Brigg and Goole’s Jacky Crawford have written to Network Rail urging them to reconsider their plans, saying they could even be in breach of the 2010 Equalities Act.

Network Rail plan to spend a total of £600,000 building like-for-like bridges to replace the existing ones at Gainsborough Central and Brigg that were built in the 19th century.

But the Friends of Brigg and Lincoln Lines and the Gainsborough Rail and Bus Users Group have pointed out that neither proposed bridge will have ramps for the disabled or families with prams.

And Gainsborough Central’s foot crossing is scheduled to be removed from 12th August making it impossible for the disabled and families with prams to use the station at all.

Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably because they are disabled. The service provider must not indirectly discriminate against a disabled person unless there is a clear reason to do so.

In the letter to Network Rail’s Chief Executive Mark Carne, Mr Prescott and Ms Crawford write: “The people of Gainsborough and Brigg want to see improved transport services and station improvements.”

“Gainsborough Central, which is in the heart of the town and next to the Marshalls Yard shopping precinct, needs a six day a week service using the station.”

“At present it has to cope with a Saturday only service.”

“The future economic prosperity of both towns depends on having better transport links and services.”

“But the replacement bridges you offer will not only discriminate against the disabled and young families, but it will put a cap on the ambitions of both Brigg and Gainsborough.”

“We urge you to go back to the drawing board and ensure that the £600,000 you plan to spend on these new bridges ensures accessibility for everyone.”

“They need to be built for the 21st century not the 19th.

“Both stations need a bridge for all.”

“So will you please agree to visit both stations and meet ourselves and representatives from the Friends of Brigg and Lincoln Lines and the Gainsborough Rail and Bus Users Group to see the problem for yourself.”