'Improvement notice' issued to SWR for access at Liphook station

By Jon Walker   |   Senior reporter   |
Tuesday 1st December 2020 4:30 pm
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ACCESS issues at Liphook station means disabled passengers are being forced to go to other stations or simply “not use the train,” says the rail regulator.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has issued an ‘improvement notice’ to South Western Railway, which runs the trains that stop at the station.

The regulator said the gap between train and platform meant a boarding device, such as a ramp, was required by law for wheelchair users.

The rail company will have committed an offence if it fails to comply by the deadline in May.

ORR deputy director Stephanie Tobyn said: “Helping wheelchair users to use a train is a fundamental duty for a train operator and a vital service for passengers. That is why we’ve taken action to ensure SWR fulfils this essential accessibility standard.”

A rail company spokesperson said: “We have been liaising closely with the ORR to resolve the complex challenge provided by the narrow platforms at Liphook and are working hard to find a practical solution as soon as possible.”

In August this year Network Rail was given the go-ahead for a new footbridge over the tracks that would link the south and northbound platforms at Liphook.

The current bridge will be replaced by one with lifts to provide easy access for wheelchair users, people with pushchairs and cyclists.

Hampshire County Council is holding some £500,000 of developer contributions from the Silent Garden housing estate off Portsmouth Road in Liphook for access improvements at the station.

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