Disabled access issues at Ayrshire train stations branded a ‘scandal’

Fresh analysis by Scottish Labour has revealed that many train stations in the area are not fully accessible for people with disabilities.

New figures have revealed that just 50 per cent of train stations in East Ayrshire, and 78 per cent in South Ayrshire, are not fully accessible.

Fresh analysis by Scottish Labour has revealed that many train stations in the area are not fully accessible for people with disabilities.

Of East Ayrshire’s six train stations, just three are fully accessible – Auchinleck, Kilmaurs and New Cumnock are not.

And in South Ayrshire, only two of the area’s nine stations are fully accessible.

However, Ayr, Barassie, Barrhill, Girvan, Newton-on-Ayr, Prestwick Town and Troon are not.

At present, services at Ayr station continue to be affected by the recent fire in the former Ayr Station Hotel.

Responsibility for improving accessibility at Scottish stations is shared by both the UK and the Scottish Government.

South Scotland Labour List MSP, Colin Smyth, branded the figures a ‘scandal’ and has demanded action from both SNP and Tory governments.

He said: “It is shameful that disabled people are still being are locked out of some train stations in parts of Ayrshire.

“The Tories and the SNP Government’s both have a responsibility to make sure our train stations are fit for purpose – but both have failed miserably with many of our local stations either almost completely or partly inaccessible for disabled passengers.

“Our two governments must work better together to design a real plan to end this scandal and ensure rail travel is accessible to everyone.”

He added: “My constituents in Ayrshire deserve a modern, accessible rail network so our communities can thrive.”

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “All disabled people must be able to travel with freedom, choice, dignity, and opportunity.

“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 6 (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.”

Phil Campbell, ScotRail customer operations director, said: “ScotRail is committed to making sure that all rail users have equal access. 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.”

A Network Rail Scotland spokesperson 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.

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