A ‘NIGHTMARE’ railway station is a no-go area for anyone with mobility problems, pushchairs or large cases and it has to change, it has been claimed.

Thirsk station is used by thousands of people a year but is virtually "off-limits" to anyone with mobility problems who end up having to travel onto York or Northallerton and completing their trip by taxi. 

Now, Thirsk and Northallerton railway group is backing campaigns for a change and calling for the public to support them.

Chair Christopher Purser told The D&S Times: “In this day and age it is ludicrous. The station has been a virtual ‘no go’ area for passengers with mobility problems since the location was ‘modernised’ in 1986, despite the best efforts of TransPennine station staff in facilitating the use of the level crossing at the station.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Nightmare problems for passengers at Thirsk rail stationNightmare problems for passengers at Thirsk rail station

“Access to either platform or the booking office, is via steep flights of steps. Someone travelling north and wishing to get to the booking office would have to negotiate the steps three times, four times if they used the main car park. Other station facilities, which are limited to a disabled toilet on the southbound platform are similarly inaccessible.

“There is the added complication that access to toilet, waiting rooms, or the crossing are only available when the booking office is staffed.

"This cannot be guaranteed due to staff shortages, so that passengers are faced with either being marooned on the station, or having to alight at York or Northallerton and travel onwards by taxi.

“This is obviously unacceptable, particularly since trains from either the North West or the direct route from London are timetabled to arrive after scheduled booking office operating times."

Darlington and Stockton Times: Christopher Purser says Thirsk station is a no go area for people with mobility problemsChristopher Purser says Thirsk station is a no go area for people with mobility problems

A scheme to install lifts at Northallerton station has just been finished, there is a similar plan for Thirsk but TransPennine is waiting for government funding.

Mr Purser said the lifts will make life easier for existing travellers at Northallerton and encourage other people to use it.

He added: “The population of Thirsk is being increased by large new housing developments, and making the station environment more attractive and accessible will divert commuters from car use to more environmentally friendly modes of transport.”

In response, Graham Meiklejohn, Head of Regional Development for TransPennine Express said: “The railway is committed to making rail travel even more accessible for all our customers, as well as delivering meaningful improvements for the communities we serve.

“Many of the stations across the rail network feature older infrastructure which can bring challenges when it comes to accessibility and the modernisation of these is a gradual, but important process.

“Together with local partners, we will submit a bid to the Department for Transport’s Access for All fund later this year which, if approved, would see the installation of three brand-new lifts and an accessible footbridge at Thirsk station.”


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