Almost two thirds of Scots train stations not fully accessible for disabled people

Scottish Labour called the situation ‘shameful’
Picture: Jane Barlow/PA WirePicture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Almost two thirds of train stations in Scotland are not fully accessible for disabled people, sparking calls for immediate action.

Figures highlighted by Scottish Labour show just 138 of Scotland's 362 stations are fully accessible.

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Half are partially accessible, while around one in eight stations do not have step-free access to any platform at all.

Meanwhile, the majority of stations are unstaffed, with 92 per cent of stations listing no staff other than ticket office personnel and 60 per cent having no staff whatsoever.

Alex Rowley, Scottish Labour’s transport spokesman, said “It is shameful that disabled people are still being are locked out of train stations across Scotland. The Tories and the SNP both have a responsibility to make sure our train stations are fit for purpose – but both have failed miserably.

“Our two governments must work together to design a real plan to end this scandal and ensure rail travel is accessible to everyone. A modern, accessible rail network is essential to building a fairer, greener and more prosperous Scotland.”

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said: “Our vision is that all disabled people can travel with the same freedom, choice, dignity, and opportunity as other citizens.

“Rail accessibility is reserved to the UK Government and, while we work closely with the Department for Transport to agree priorities, the final decision rests with them. That is why we continue to push for full devolution of rail powers to enable us to better deliver for Scotland’s rail users.

“For the current rail regulatory control period six (2019-2024), the Scottish Government nominated 12 stations for the UK Department for Transport’s access for all programme; funding was provided for six of these.

“Step-free access has already been delivered at Anderston, Croy, Johnstone and Port Glasgow. The remaining stations, Anniesland and Uddingston, are expected to be completed by the end of the rail funding period in 2024.”

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Phil Campbell, ScotRail’s customer operations director, said it is “committed to making sure that all rail users have equal access”, adding: “We enable tens of thousands of assisted travel journeys each year, and many more spur of the moment trips.

“Our accessible travel service provides free assistance to people who need a little extra help, whether it has been booked in advance or not. We’re committed to building on the success of this service, which includes listening to and acting on feedback from our customers, and we’ll continue to work with our stakeholders at all levels to ensure that everyone can travel on Scotland’s railway with confidence.”

ScotRail’s passenger assist system can be booked at least one hour in advance for journeys on the ScotRail network. Where the journeys go beyond the ScotRail network, and involve the use of other train operator services, assistance can be booked two hours in advance.

A Network Rail Scotland spokesman said: “Many of our stations date from the Victorian period and were not designed with the needs of all travellers in mind. Accessibility improvements across Britain are funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in Scotland by ourselves and Transport Scotland.

“We work closely with both governments, local authorities and our train operators to review accessibility at our stations and upgrade as many as possible for our customers.”

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “We are committed to improving transport accessibility, and we have funded step-free access at over 30 stations across Scotland - including works currently underway at Dumfries station.

“More than 300 new project nominations are currently being assessed by the department and Network Rail for the next round of the access for all scheme, and further details will be shared in due course."



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