Tracy Brabin demands urgent action to make Batley Station disability-friendly

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin has written to the Government demanding urgent investment to make Batley railway station fully accessible for disabled passengers.

Only one of the station’s platforms has level, step-free access, and Ms Brabin is calling on the Government to modernise the station to make it fit for purpose by making the full station wheelchair accessible.

The second platform at Victorian-built station has no wheelchair access, meaning disabled passengers can only travel one way from the station and have to make an extended or costlier return journey.

Tracy Brabin has been campaigning hard since she became an MP 2016 to improve the service on offer for rail users in the constituency.

Writing to Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris calling for urgent action to bring Batley station up to standard, Ms Brabin recalled the plight of one constituent, a Paralympic athlete, who had to prolong his journey home to Dewsbury because of the inaccessibility of Batley station, only to be faced with an out of service lift meaning he had to travel further again to Leeds and then fork out for a taxi home.

Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen and Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “Disabled constituents face numerous barriers when they want to travel by train, including access to their local train station.

“Batley Station does not have step-free access and is causing great difficulties, which is why I have written to the Government demanding change.

“Since 2004 it has been written in law that railway stations should be fully accessible to disabled users.

“The 2018 Transport Strategy said 75 per cent of railway stations had full disabled access, but Batley has still been left behind and forgotten to the detriment of local disabled people.

“This is simply unacceptable in this day and age. It’s an outrage in 2020 that wheelchair users can’t get a train to or from their local station. Change has to happen and it needs to happen now.

“On top of this, we also need a bus service to and from the station to make it easier for people to get around, and we need more reliable, affordable and frequent rail services through Batley, as well as the removal of those horrible Pacer trains once and for all.”

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