Keeping up the pressure on South Western Railway & Network Rail
What is the issue
- I have been campaigning for full accessibility at Pokesdown Station since 2015.
- The lack of a lift makes it difficult or impossible for many people to access the platform, including those who are disabled, parents with buggies, cyclists, elderly passengers and anyone with luggage who all have to currently battle with the steps.
- Over the years I have supported local campaigners, South Western Railway and Network Rail while petitioning for project funding.
- Total project cost is £5.7m. South Western Railway & Network Rail have allocated £3.1m.
- In 2022, despite Labour and Liberal Democrat opposition, BCP's former Conservative Council, stepped up and committed £2.6m from its Futures Fund to enable the project to commence.
- Work has already started on the refurbishment but the contract for the new lifts has yet to be allocated.
What I've done recently
- Met with South Western Railway & Network Rail to ensure the primary focus of the project remains accessibility and to move that forward as a matter of urgency.
- Sought reassurances that ticket office closures will not further discriminate those with disabilities and that staff will be manning the station throughout the day for passenger assistance.
- Written to the Chief Executive of BCP Council to ask when the approved funds will be transferred for the project.