Ticket window fiasco

PUBLISHED: 11:08 15 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:40 06 May 2010

Comet reporters Damion Roberts and Louise McEvoy demonstrate the problems that wheelchair-using rail passengers face at Letchworth station

Comet reporters Damion Roberts and Louise McEvoy demonstrate the problems that wheelchair-using rail passengers face at Letchworth station

TRAIN company chiefs are spending £12,500 installing a disability legislation-compliant ticket office window at a station that has no disabled access to the platforms. The lifts at Letchworth GC train station have not worked for many years so stairs provi

TRAIN company chiefs are spending £12,500 installing a disability legislation-compliant ticket office window at a station that has no disabled access to the platforms.

The lifts at Letchworth GC train station have not worked for many years so stairs provide the only access to the platforms.

Disabled customers who arrive at the station are currently taxied over to Stevenage station to buy their tickets at the disability legislation-compliant ticket office window there and gain access to the trains via the lifts.

However, £12,500 funding from the Department for Transport is to be spent by First Capital Connect on installing a ticket office window for the disabled at Letchworth GC station.

Wendy Crawley, of Wilbury Road, Letchworth GC, has an 18-year-old disabled granddaughter and cannot understand the logic behind this decision.

She said: "The window will make no difference to my granddaughter. She won't want to buy a ticket if she can't get on a train.

"They should be addressing the problem with the lifts."

She added: "The Government wants people to use public transport and yet they are not helping because they are not providing access for a lot of people - not just the disabled.

"The elderly, mothers with prams and people with bikes are just some of the people who would also benefit from a lift."

MP for Hertfordshire North East, Oliver Heald, said: "This is another example of one part of government not knowing what the other is doing.

"I have been pressing for years for action on disabled access to the platforms. "I would have thought that this should come before investing in a ticket window for the disabled.

"If they can't get to the trains there isn't much point being able to buy a ticket."

Letchworth GC town councillor Philip Ross said: "It's a step in the right direction but it's about making further investment in the station. They need to fix the lift otherwise it would be a waste of money."

A spokesman for First Capital Connect said: "Letchworth is down on the list with the Department for Transport for making the station fully accessible. They will look at it from 2009 so obviously there is a little bit of a gap there. But we have installed the window with the view that the platforms will be accessible in the future.


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