“Please help me persuade Southern to make Preston Park train station accessible to wheelchair users” – Beth Granter

Description

Beth Granter

Please can you upgrade this station so that it has wheelchair access? I live right next to it and my mother uses a wheelchair, so when she visits we have to get the bus or car all the time which takes much longer and is much less convenient.

I realise this would be very costly but I think it is necessary and unfair and discriminatory not to invest in making stations accessible to all.

Thanks,

Beth

Problem History

  • 1 Beth Granter reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 11:41 02 Nov 2011
  • 2 Beth Granter wrote to Southern close 11:41 02 Nov 2011

    Here is the letter that Beth Granter wrote.

    No wheelchair access

    Please can you upgrade this station so that it has wheelchair access? I live right next to it and my mother uses a wheelchair, so when she visits we have to get the bus or car all the time which takes much longer and is much less convenient.

    I realise this would be very costly but I think it is necessary and unfair and discriminatory not to invest in making stations accessible to all.

    Thanks,

    Beth

  • 3 Southern Railways Customer Services responded to Beth Granter close 11:47 02 Nov 2011
    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Thank you for your email. Your reference number is
    [10561-1320234424]

    We appreciate you taking the time to contact us. We are
    currently experiencing high volumes and will aim to respond
    within 10 days.

    Kind Regards,
    Southern Customer Services

    Reminder of your message:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Dear Southern,

    Please can you upgrade this station so that it has wheelchair
    access? I live right next to it and my mother uses a wheelchair,
    so
    when she visits we have to get the bus or car all the time which
    takes much longer and is much less convenient.

    I realise this would be very costly but I think it is necessary
    and
    unfair and discriminatory not to invest in making stations
    accessible to all.

    Thanks,

    Beth

    ------------------

    Here is some information from FixMyTransport about the location
    of
    this issue:

    Location name: Preston Park Rail Station

    Area: Brighton

    Easting: 529975.0

    Northing: 106779.0

    ----------

    To view a map of the precise location of this problem, or to
    provide an update on the problem, please visit the following
    link:

    http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/...

    [ PLEASE NOTE: Your replies to this problem report will be sent
    to
    Beth Granter and will be published online. This message was sent
    via FixMyTransport.com - a not-for-profit service dedicated to
    helping people get public transport problems resolved. If there
    is
    a more appropriate email address for messages about this type of
    problem, please let us know by visiting
    . This will help improve
    the service for people travelling. We also welcome any other
    feedback you may have. ]

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Book on southernrailway.com and, not only can you buy a ticket
    for any UK rail journey, but you also get an exclusive online
    discount off Southern Advance and Off Peak tickets plus no
    online booking fees or credit card charges. These fares are not
    available at expensive third party web sites like the Trainline,
    so book direct with Southern to get the best deal.

    This e-mail message has been scanned and cleared by NetIQ
    MailMarshal.

    Southern Railway Ltd is registered in England No. 06574965.
    Registered office: 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle Upon
    Tyne, NE1 6EE

    This email is sent subject to our email disclaimer which can be
    accessed here http://www.southernrailway.com/emaildisc...

    Southern is the trading name of Southern Railway Ltd.
    Registered in England under number: 06574965
    Registered offices: 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle upon
    Tyne, NE1 6EE.

    This email is sent subject to our email disclaimer which can be
    accessed at: [1]www.southernrailway.com/emaildisclaimer

    References

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  • 4 Peter Dixon commented close 18:27 03 Nov 2011

    Hi Beth

    Have you asked the train company to provide you with a taxi to the nearest accessible railway station for your journey? You usually have to give them notice for this but they should be accommodating to this kind of request.

    I hope this helps

    anorak
    admin
  • 5 Julian Walker commented close 18:39 03 Nov 2011

    Hello Beth, whilst in an ideal world all stations would be fully accessible, sadly many, such as Preston Park, were built at a time when access for disabled people simply was not a consideration. It is a small station in a cramped site and I imagine there are many other stations on the network with equal claim to funds.

    I have found some information about staffing levels at Preston Park. Of interest is that Preston Park does not have a wheelchair ramp, but it states on the website:

    >> Accessible taxis to/from this station to/from the nearest accessible station can be arranged through Southern Assisted Travel - 0800 138 1016. For other taxi journeys, contact local taxi companies, details of which can be found at www.traintaxi.co.uk. <<

    Here is the link to the relevant webpage, if you are interested:

    http://www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/station-information/PRP/knowledgebase/#staffing

    anorak
    admin
  • 6 Beth Granter commented close 09:48 08 Nov 2011

    Thanks Julian and Peter for your advice on getting Southern to arrange taxis. However, getting in and out of a taxi is very painful for my mum so is not as easy as staying in her wheelchair and getting on and off an accessible train / platform. Also, Southern say on their site that you have to give 24 hours notice for an accessible taxi. This is impractical for a weekend visit by my parents when we'll want to pop in and out of Brighton multiple times per day, often with little notice as it will depend on whether my mum feels well enough, or needs to come home due to poor health unexpectedly.

    The only realistic option currently is to get a bus which takes much longer. She should be able to get the train like all able bodied people. I'm still awaiting a response from Southern.

    Thanks,

    Beth

  • 7 Dave H commented close 14:17 08 Nov 2011

    In a real pragmatic world it is simply cheaper and a better use of resources to use solutions that may not always look right for the individual.

    I'm most surprised that your mother has to get out of the wheelchair to use a taxi - it is now an almost universal requirement for all taxis to be accessible for wheelchair users in their wheelchair, unless of course you are confusing a taxi with a licenced private hire vehicle, but even these are moving to use accessible 5-7 seater vehicles.

    The railway operates this service at many stations, as a way to deliver accessibility without crippling cost. Preston Park is built on the 'side' of the South Downs rising escarpment, and basically not a place which would sensibly be used as a station with step-free access, when the alternative of Brighton, with more train services is so close.

    It would be as crazy as demanding a car park at Berney Arms, Courrour, Altnabreac, Dovey Junction or Smallbrook Junction, none of which are connected to the public road, but all serving the need for their being at these locations. Even walking to Berney Arms is a bit of a challenge!

  • 8 Southern Railways Customer Services responded to Beth Granter close 14:50 08 Nov 2011
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Thank you for contacting us.

    Thank you for contacting us on 2 November in regards to the
    accessibility of Preston Park station, please accept my
    apologies for our delay in response.

    I am sorry to hear that your Mother finds it hard to access
    Preston Park station and apologies for any inconvenience this
    may cause. We do try and cater all our passengers the best to
    our capabilities. We currently have an agreement with the
    Government to improve all our facilities within all our Southern
    Owned stations making them more accessible and user friendly as
    part of our franchise agreement towards our passengers.

    We do not have a timescale or list of what stations are being
    improved. However, I can confirm that all Southern owned station
    are being improved. For details on our Station Regeneration
    Programme please clink the link below:

    [1]http://www.southernrailway.com/southern/...

    Once again apologies for the delay in our response and also for
    any inconvenience caused.

    If you wish to contact us further regarding your query then
    please contact our Customer Service team directly at:
    [2][Southern problem reporting email] or by phone on 08451 27 29 20 or
    in writing to Southern Customer Services, PO Box 3021, Bristol,
    BS2 2BS quoting ticket number [10561-1320234424] on all
    communication.

    Alternatively please use the contact us page You can also submit
    a webform at:
    [3]www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/contact-us/contact-us-form
    quoting your ticket number.

    Kind regards,

    James Howells
    Southern Customer Services

    Your message :

    Dear Southern,

    Please can you upgrade this station so that it has wheelchair
    access? I live right next to it and my mother uses a wheelchair,
    so
    when she visits we have to get the bus or car all the time which
    takes much longer and is much less convenient.

    I realise this would be very costly but I think it is necessary
    and
    unfair and discriminatory not to invest in making stations
    accessible to all.

    Thanks,

    Beth

    ------------------

    Here is some information from FixMyTransport about the location
    of
    this issue:

    Location name: Preston Park Rail Station

    Area: Brighton

    Easting: 529975.0

    Northing: 106779.0

    ----------

    To view a map of the precise location of this problem, or to
    provide an update on the problem, please visit the following
    link:

    http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/...

    [ PLEASE NOTE: Your replies to this problem report will be sent
    to
    Beth Granter and will be published online. This message was sent
    via FixMyTransport.com - a not-for-profit service dedicated to
    helping people get public transport problems resolved. If there
    is
    a more appropriate email address for messages about this type of
    problem, please let us know by visiting
    . This will help improve
    the service for people travelling. We also welcome any other
    feedback you may have. ]

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Book on southernrailway.com and, not only can you buy a ticket
    for any UK rail journey, but you also get an exclusive online
    discount off Southern Advance and Off Peak tickets plus no
    online booking fees or credit card charges. These fares are not
    available at expensive third party web sites like the Trainline,
    so book direct with Southern to get the best deal.

    This e-mail message has been scanned and cleared by NetIQ
    MailMarshal.

    Southern Railway Ltd is registered in England No. 06574965.
    Registered office: 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle Upon
    Tyne, NE1 6EE

    This email is sent subject to our email disclaimer which can be
    accessed here http://www.southernrailway.com/emaildisc...

    Southern is the trading name of Southern Railway Ltd.
    Registered in England under number: 06574965
    Registered offices: 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle upon
    Tyne, NE1 6EE.

    This email is sent subject to our email disclaimer which can be
    accessed at: [4]www.southernrailway.com/emaildisclaimer

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.southernrailway.com/southern/...
    2. mailto:[Southern problem reporting email]
    3. file:///tmp/www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/contact-us/contact-us-form
    4. file:///tmp/www.southernrailway.com/emaildisclaimer
  • 9 Barbara Granter commented close 14:50 08 Nov 2011

    You are right. Proper cabs have wheelchair access which doesn't involve my getting out of my wheelchair. In fact, one of the the points which is most aggravating is that if I travelled down to see Beth on the train I couldn't get off it 100 yards from where she lives whereas I could get ON it at our tiny station in Cheshire with no difficulty. So do you suggest I could book a taxi from Brighton station to take me free of charge back to Preston Park?

    Indeed, could I have a free taxi every time I went into and back from Brighton to Beth's house as I can't use Preston Park Station? Is that the case?

  • 10 Dave H commented close 18:38 22 Dec 2012

    In an 'equalised' transport world, it should cost you no more to get a 'taxi' than to catch the train giving you the same level of service to the station of your choice.

    That might mean a shared taxi-bus possibly running to a consolidated route (for several calls in your local area going in to Brighton) at roughly the times you want to travel, much in the same way you might catch a bus or a train, and costing roughly the same amount for this service.

    The free taxi detail is only going to apply to journeys which canot be completed or started - not to journeys that cannot be made at all by train, and it is up to the train operator whether they offer a taxi or other reasonable alternative - so if an accessible bus route passes that way you'll be offered a free journey on the bus to complete the trip, and if there is more than one passenger requiring the transfer.

    One accesible bus service in Wiltshire made the point of treating all 'request to call' passengers in the same way as any other bus passenger. They were expected to be ready and waiting to board at the appointed pick-up point as far as practically possible. The bus driver would not wait for someone who then spent 5 minutes putting on their coat and getting out of the house when they pulled up outside.

Comment
  • started 2 November 2011
  • supporters 11
Preston Park Rail Station in Brighton operated by Southern
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