Faversham train passengers angry at lift delay
By Faversham Times | Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 04:00
RAIL passengers are still waiting for Faversham station's new lift to work – after three years.
"DISGUSTING": Network Rail have been criticised for the delay in providing lifts for disabled passengers
OUT OF ORDER: The lifts are still not in use at Faversham train station
STILL WAITING: Freda Costa appealed for transport bosses to improve disabled access last year
The town's county councillor, Tom Gates, said: "It really is ridiculous. Network Rail does not seem to have any idea how it affects people using the station.
"I know the Faversham town clerk has written, as have individual councillors, telling them to get a move on. When we ask for a date we just get fobbed off or our letters ignored."
Under the Disability Discrimination Act, disabled people should be able to use public transport without "unreasonable difficulty".
The lifts were removed in 2009 as part of a multimillion-pound station upgrade. Replacements were installed in March, but they are still not in use.
Pensioner Susanne Millar, 74, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, said: "I find it difficult to get upstairs, but I have seen people with wheelchairs for whom it is impossible.
"I have also seen mums struggling with prams and passengers with a lot of luggage.
"In the year of the Paralympics, Network Rail should be stepping up to its responsibilities.
"By law, handicapped people should able to use the train.
"The lifts look beautiful. It is unfair and ridiculous. Rail prices are going up. Now we want our lifts to go up as well."
Commuter Paul Shackleford tweeted Southeastern trains: "When will the lifts be working at Faversham station? Will it be in my lifetime? I'm 31, by the way."
Retired teacher Freda Costa, of Briton Road, has now taken to using taxis because of back pain.
Her husband Bob said: "She feels cheated. She uses a walker and I'm not able to help her upstairs any more. We were told to phone the station a day in advance to arrange for a member of staff to help. We thought the lifts were finally going to work this year. It is disappointing."
Network Rail spokeswoman Kate Snowden said: "We are working with Southeastern to finalise the project and aim to have the lifts open shortly."
Southeastern spokeswoman Alison Nolan said : "Network Rail installed the lifts. A small amount of platform work was required. The lift on platforms 1 and 2 is now open. The lift on platform 3 and 4 is likely to be opened next week."
Do you need the lifts to work? E-mail claire.mcwethy@KRNmedia.co.uk
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