Penrith Train Station

IMGP4379The great remaining challenge to disabled rights in Britain is in transport. There are 12 million disabled people in Britain. The number using trains has gone up by 57 per cent or more in the past five years, to about 77 million individual trips a year. They struggle with many things from bringing mobility scooters onto trains, to the heights of train steps, to access to disabled lavatories. But the most basic problem is the lack of disabled access – or more specifically a lift – at stations, including Penrith.

At the moment, there are fourteen formal requests a day (and scores more that are not formally made in advance) for disabled assistance at Penrith’s station. Sometimes it is impossible to provide the right assistance: Elaine Waite from Appleby, for example, is unable to get off the train at Penrith, so has to travel to Carlisle and wait for a train coming south, which adds approximately 50 minutes to her journey every time she travels. Others have to be pushed across the great West Coast mainline in the gaps between trains, whose maximum speed is 125mph. And to come up and down dozens of steep steps with a 25kg suitcase is not necessarily a problem simply for the disabled.

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Rory Stewart MP and Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin at Penrith Station

RORY STEWART CONFIRMS £3.3m PENRITH STATION LIFT AND UPGRADE‎

Rory Stewart on Friday met with Network Rail and Virgin Trains to confirm the details of the £3.3m ‘Access for All’ upgrade at Penrith railway station, which will provide a lift for the station. Network Rail confirmed that survey work will begin later this year, with the lift due to be installed in 2016. Rory […]

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RORY STEWART CELEBRATES VICTORY IN LIFT FOR PENRITH STATION

Rory Stewart’s four-year campaign to obtain funding for a lift and improved disabled access at Penrith station has won through, with today’s confirmation that the Depatment for Transport is to include the vital upgrades in the current tranche of Access for All funding, from 2014 to 2019. The victory is the result of intense lobbying […]

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RORY’S CAMPAIGNING PAYS OFF AS PENRITH STATION NOMINATED FOR DFT UPGRADE

Rory has welcomed the news that Penrith station has been nominated for funding under the Department for Transport’s ‘Access for All’ scheme, after a three-year lobbying campaign of the Government, Network Rail and Virgin Trains to take action over access concerns at the station. The funding bid – if successful – would see Penrith’s northbound […]

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RORY RECEIVES MINISTERIAL ENCOURAGEMENT FOR DISABLED ACCESS AT PENRITH STATION

In response to a parliamentary debate, initiated and led by Rory yesterday on disabled access at train stations, Minister for Transport Norman Baker, confirmed that Penrith station was a “strong candidate” for new investment in disabled access, and promised also to assess existing criteria and ensure that it took account of a station’s rurality also. […]

House of Commons Localism speech

RORY TO LEAD PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE ON LIFT AT PENRITH STATION

Rory has succeeded in his bid to hold a parliamentary debate on the issue of disabled access at railway stations, the latest milestone in his campaign to improve access to the station at Penrith in his constituency. Rory had received a commitment in 2012 that the lift would be installed by First Group, the successful […]

Trains

RORY PRESSES TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT FOR ASSURANCES ON HS2 DISRUPTION

Rory has requested assurances from Ministers within the Department for Transport that any disruption to services at Euston Station – the London station at which trains from Penrith and the Border arrive – as a result of the construction of the HS2 railway line, should be minimised, and to call for a coherent plan to […]