Following the success of his long-running campaign for better access at Penrith Railway Station, Rory Stewart MP is lending his support to a local campaign to improve access for disabled people at Kirkby Stephen Railway Station.
The MP for Penrith and The Border has visited the station with local disability campaigners Debbie and Andy North, Upper Eden Community Plan steering group member Libby Bateman, and Glenys Lumley, Director of Upper Eden CIC to see for himself the current problems around accessing the northbound platform, which involves a dangerous gravel slope down to a busy road, with no parking facilities or safety measures for the disabled, the elderly, or those with children.
Rory said: ” I am committed to obtaining for Kirkby Stephen station the sorts of upgrades that we received for Penrith Station, which has made a huge difference to locals, travellers, and tourists. These are the sort of important improvements that the people of my constituency deserve. We must make this station an accessible, modern, comfortable place to spend time, and I will be contacting all relevant parties to convene a meeting to make this happen.”
Upper Eden Community Plan steering group member, Libby Bateman said: “Kirkby Stephen Station is a vital transport link for communities across the Upper Eden Valley. It is absurd that the Northbound platform is inaccessible to wheelchair users and I’m pleased that Rory is helping us to tackle this issue as a matter of urgency. With the extension of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, more and more people are visiting the area and it isn’t acceptable that some are excluded from travelling on the iconic Settle to Carlisle line simply because they have limited mobility.”
Campaigner Debbie North said: “It’s brilliant to have Rory’s support. It is unfortunate that at a station as lovely as Kirkby Stephen the path on the northbound platform is at best in very poor condition and at worst fraught with danger for wheelchair users and parents with prams.”