Gainsborough: Network Rail are rethinking plans for a crossing at Gainsborough Central Station as the original design had no disabled access

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

Gainsborough’s MP has welcomed the decision by Network Rail to rethink its design for the crossing at Gainsborough Central Station.

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Gainsborough, has welcomed Network Rail’s announcement that they are re-evaluating their plans for Gainsborough Central station.

The MP wrote to the rail infrastructure body objecting to their plans for new bridges at the station that would be inaccessible for travellers in wheelchairs, parents with prams, and mobility-impaired people.

Sir Edward said: “Network Rail have let me know that they are ‘actively seeking an alternative solution.”

“I welcome this change, and I hope Network Rail will keep in mind the full range of passengers who travel by rail.”

The company, which maintains Britain’s rail infrastructure, announced plans for a new crossing that fails to include ramp access.

Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for Gainsborough and Brigg and Goole, David Prescott and Jacky Crawford, also wrote to Network Rail urging them to reconsider their plans, saying they could even be in breach of the 2010 Equalities Act.

In his response Network Rail chief Phil Verster said: “A diversity impact assessment will be completed for both Brigg and Gainsborough.”

“This will help to finalise what facilities will be provided.”

“Until that is completed over the coming weeks I cannot state what the final solution will be at each station.”

“At a national level Network Rail is developing a strategy for inclusive design across the Rail Network.”

“This will help us to meet, and where possible exceed, our statutory obligations as set out in The Equality Act 2010, in addition to meeting the requirements set out in Persons of Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability (PRM TSI) Jan 2015 and Accessible Train Station Design for Disabled People: A Code of Practice (ACoP) DfT Nov 2011.”

“Once a final solution is agreed for each station my team will notify you of the plans.”

David and Jacky have now urged Phil Verster not to railroad any final decision until he has personally visited the station and spoken to the people who will be affected.

In their reply to Network Rail they said: “Let’s work together to solve this problem for the benefit of families and disabled people so we can have bridges and stations that are accessible to all.”

“We all await your response and visits at the earliest opportunity.”