“Please help me persuade Arriva Trains Wales to provide non-stepped access to Chepstow Station” – Meg Kingston

Description

Meg Kingston

Chepstow Railway Station is only partially accessible for people of limited mobility, such as elderly or disabled people as well as those with pushchairs.
We'd like to see proper access to end this discrimination against less-mobile people.

Problem History

  • 1 Meg Kingston reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 17:13 13 Jul 2011
  • 2 Meg Kingston wrote to Arriva Trains Wales close 17:13 13 Jul 2011

    Here is the letter that Meg Kingston wrote.

    Disabled Access

    As a person of limited mobility, I find that I can only access one of the two platforms at Chepstow Railway Station as I am unable to use the stairs leading between the platforms.
    I can catch an Eastbound train, but the only way for me to take a Westbound train (towards Cardiff) is to get on one going the opposite way, leave the train at the next station and cross the lines to catch the next one going in the right direction.
    The result of this is that train journeys take considerably longer for me and that I have to book more assistance than I really need, which inconveniences train staff as well as myself.
    I believe it is possible for access to be provided to the far platform and would like to see this implemented.

  • 3 Tom Steinberg commented close 18:07 13 Jul 2011

    Hi Meg - you've just made a little bit of history.

    You're the first person outside mySociety to have used FixMyTransport to gather support around a problem (as opposed to just sending a problem report as a one-off). I hope it goes well for you, and us!

    anorak
    admin
  • 4 Customer Relations responded to Meg Kingston close 16:40 14 Jul 2011
    Thank you for contacting Arriva Trains Wales. Your message has
    been received and assigned the reference number  ATW-110713-BFP.

    Our usual target response time is ten working days, and we aim
    to provide you with a full reply within this timescale. If you
    have any queries in connection with your case, then please
    contact us on 08456 061 660. We're open between 8am and 8pm
    Mondays to Saturdays, or 11am until 8pm on Sundays.

    Please note that our role is primarily to investigate and
    respond to comments, complaints and suggestions regarding Arriva
    Trains Wales services. If you are planning a journey and need to
    find out times and fares, or to check if there is any disruption
    to services, please visit [1]www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk
    or [2]www.nationalrail.co.uk.

    Yours Sincerely

    Customer Relations

    Arriva Trains Wales 

    Diolch am gysylltu â Threnau Arriva Cymru. Mae’ch neges wedi
    cael ei derbyn a rhoddwyd iddi’r rhif cyfeirnod ATW-110713-BFP.

    Deg diwrnod gwaith yw’r amser ymateb rydym yn anelu ato fel
    arfer, a’n nod yw rhoi ateb llawn i chi cyn pen y cyfnod hwn. Os
    oes gennych unrhyw ymholiadau ynglŷn â’ch achos, cysylltwch â ni
    ar 08456 061 660. Rydym ar agor rhwng 8am ac 8pm o ddydd Llun i
    ddydd Sadwrn, neu rhwng 11am ac 8pm ar ddyddiau Sul.

    Nodwch mai ein swyddogaeth yn bennaf yw ymchwilio ac ymateb i
    sylwadau, cwynion ac awgrymiadau am wasanaethau Trenau Arriva
    Cymru. Os ydych chi’n cynllunio taith ac angen cael amserau a
    chostau tocynnau, neu holi a oes unrhyw darfu ar wasanaethau,
    ewch i [3]www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk
    neu [4]www.nationalrail.co.uk.

    Yn gywir

    Cysylltiadau Cwsmeriaid

    Trenau Arriva Cymru

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    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/
    2. http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
    3. http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/
    4. http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
  • 5 Myf Nixon commented close 14:30 25 Jul 2011

    Hello Meg - Myf from FixMyTransport here.

    Good luck with your efforts to get non-stepped access at Chepstow station! This is just to let you know that FixMyTransport.com has now quietly turned from a beta site into a public one, so you can link to the page and gather support among friends and family if you'd like to.

    Our social media buttons are now fully functional, so why not give them a go and see if you can spread the word a bit?

    We'd love to know any further thoughts you have about the site, too - we're still actively making changes based on user suggestions. Just use the 'feedback' button at the top of each page.

    Thanks again for being one of FixMyTransport's first users - hope it turns out to be a useful tool for you.

    anorak
    admin
  • 6 Annie Bishop commented close 16:06 25 Jul 2011

    Its not just Chepstow its most stations

  • 7 Marit Meredith commented close 16:49 25 Jul 2011

    Easy yo use access to trains (including exiting) will make us more independent and less likely to ask for assistance.

  • 8 william perrin commented close 19:03 26 Jul 2011

    a group of Leonard Cheshire Home residents ran a very good campaign to get bromley south station in London made accessible more quickly than was scheduled

    http://www.campaigncentral.org.uk/access-all-areas-bromley-south

    Basically all rail companies have a budget for this sort of works and you have to put pressure on them to bring your station further up the queue. this means some form of campaign and usually direct action

    cheers

    w

    anorak
  • 9 Tom Steinberg commented close 15:39 29 Jul 2011

    Hi Meg - here's an idea. You can upload photos to your campaign page. Why don't you snap a picture of some of the offending steps, and upload them? That way your page would look instantly more powerful.

    anorak
    admin
  • 10 Brian Seaman commented close 08:25 02 Aug 2011

    Hi,

    I've just supported you by Tweeting about this campaign - I really hope it helps. Would be interested to hear how it goes :-) Please do let me know.

  • 11 Myf Nixon commented close 15:11 03 Aug 2011

    Hi Meg,

    I've taken the liberty of making a few comments around the web to drum up interest in your campaign:

    http://www.railwayforum.net/showthread.php?p=62794#post62794
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7274536274#!/group.php?gid=7274536274&v=wall
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=293722712983#!/group.php?gid=293722712983&v=wall

    and I've emailed http://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/chepstow/blog/category-annoyances-and-irritations to ask them to feature it.

    I hope that at least some of this bears fruit.

    Cheers,
    Myf

    anorak
    admin
  • 12 Brian Seaman commented close 15:47 03 Aug 2011

    Hi Meg,

    I've been tweeting / re-tweeting about your campaign - really hope you get some more support - best wishes, Brian

  • 13 Myf Nixon advised Meg to write to Better Trains for Chepstow. close 11:20 11 Aug 2011

    Hi Meg,

    I notice that Arriva don't seem to have achieved their target of replying to you within ten working days. I think this is a pretty important issue, so if you want to make sure it goes to the top of the agenda, how about contacting your local MP (http://www.WriteToThem.com) or the local paper?

    Meanwhile I've also found details of Better Trains for Chepstow, who I am sure would give you masses of support.

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

    anorak
    admin
  • 14 Customer Relations responded to Meg Kingston close 17:14 30 Aug 2011
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    30 August 2011

    Your Case Reference: ATW-110713-BFP

    Dear Ms Kingston

    Thank you for the email you have submitted to us via
    FixMyTransport.

    In order for us to appropriately address your enquiry I would be
    grateful if you could send me your email or postal address,
    quoting your case reference number.

    I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

    Yours sincerely

    Amber Sutton

    Assistant Customer Relations Manager

    Arriva Trains Wales

    Tel 0845 6061 660

    E-mail [email address]

    Web www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk

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  • 15 Meg Kingston wrote to Customer Relations close 17:21 30 Aug 2011

    Dear Ms Sutton,
    certainly.

    My email address is [email address]

    Thank you,
    Meg

    -----Original Message-----

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    30 August 2011

    A

    Your Case Reference: ATW-110713-BFP

    A

    Dear Ms Kingston

    A

    Thank you for the email you have submitted to us via FixMyTransport.

    A

    In order for us to appropriately address your enquiry I would be grateful
    if you could send me your email or postal address, quoting your case
    reference number.

    A

    I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

    A

    Yours sincerely

    A

    A

    Amber Sutton

    Assistant Customer Relations Manager

    Arriva Trains Wales

    A

    Tel A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A 0845 6061 660

    E-mailA A A A A A A A A A A A A A
    [email address]

    WebA A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk

    A References

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  • 16 Meg Kingston added an update close 17:21 30 Aug 2011

    Just received a message from Arriva, asking for my email address. Hopefully this is a good sign.

  • 17 Meg Kingston commented close 18:25 30 Aug 2011

    I have just received an email from Arriva.

    There's a lot of words about why they're late in replying to my query, which I can provide if anyone's interested.

    The email goes on...

    Quote...
    I regret to advise you that there are no plans in the medium or short term for access improvements to be made at Chepstow station; however please be assured that we remain committed to improving access to our services for Older and Disabled customers and will continue to raise such issues with the relevant stakeholders.

    Recognising our responsibilities to assisting all our customers with utilising rail travel we publish a guide; Making Rail Accessible: Helping Older and Disabled Passengers, which provides a comprehensive list of all our stations and any access restrictions there may be. The guide also details what we will do for our customers to ensure access to trains can be provided, such as booking assistance via our Assisted Travel team.

    I trust the above addresses in full the circumstances that have prompted you to contact us; however if I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to let me know.

    End of Quote...

    Well, at least they sent me an answer.

    Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign. I hope other people's campaigns meet with more success.

    Meanwhile, I will continue to travel in the wrong direction until I reach a more accessible station.

  • 18 Christopher O commented close 20:04 30 Aug 2011

    I guess this is similar to WhatDoTheyKnow originally; authorities trying to take things away from being public by asking for "real" email addresses (or physical addresses).

    Similarly, it probably would be good to have some redaction on personal info entered here too.

  • 19 Myf Nixon commented close 20:16 30 Aug 2011

    Yes, it is a shame that Arriva feel unable to engage with the site in the way that it's intended.

    It's even more of a shame, Meg, that they can't offer a better solution for your problem. Apart from that, I'm not sure how you feel about being an "Older and Disabled customer" - not sure I would like this term myself!

    But that's a different issue. Let's hope the press pick up on this a bit more and give it the publicity it deserves, because your situation is almost farcical in its outrageousness.

    anorak
    admin
  • 20 Meg Kingston commented close 20:25 30 Aug 2011

    I will be contacting the local papers - hopefully tomorrow. They put the story on the front page when it was merely a comment on the lack of accessibility and got lots of mail as a result. I think they'll enjoy getting their teeth into it again.

    I will keep everyone posted.

    Thanks again for the support, you're all wonderful!

  • 21 Myf Nixon commented close 09:53 31 Aug 2011

    Good luck Meg!
    Do feel free to point the press towards this page.

    anorak
    admin
  • 22 Tom Steinberg commented close 19:22 07 Sep 2011

    Hi Meg,

    Did the local papers give you any coverage? I was going to mention you on the radio the other day, but I ran out of time :(

    Tom

    anorak
    admin
  • 23 Meg Kingston commented close 19:38 07 Sep 2011

    Hi Tom,

    we've already been on the front cover of the Free Press - more to come. watch this space!

    Meg

  • 24 Customer Relations responded to Meg Kingston close 15:05 01 May 2012
    Thank you for contacting Arriva Trains Wales. Your message has
    been received and assigned the reference number  ATW-120501-H23.

    Our usual target response time is ten working days, and we aim
    to provide you with a full reply within this timescale. If you
    have any queries in connection with your case, then please
    contact us on 08456 061 660. We're open between 8am and 8pm
    Mondays to Saturdays, or 11am until 8pm on Sundays.

    Please note that our role is primarily to investigate and
    respond to comments, complaints and suggestions regarding Arriva
    Trains Wales services. If you are planning a journey and need to
    find out times and fares, or to check if there is any disruption
    to services, please visit [1]www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk
    or [2]www.nationalrail.co.uk.

    Yours Sincerely

    Customer Relations

    Arriva Trains Wales 

    Diolch am gysylltu â Threnau Arriva Cymru. Mae’ch neges wedi
    cael ei derbyn a rhoddwyd iddi’r rhif cyfeirnod ATW-120501-H23.

    Deg diwrnod gwaith yw’r amser ymateb rydym yn anelu ato fel
    arfer, a’n nod yw rhoi ateb llawn i chi cyn pen y cyfnod hwn. Os
    oes gennych unrhyw ymholiadau ynglŷn â’ch achos, cysylltwch â ni
    ar 08456 061 660. Rydym ar agor rhwng 8am ac 8pm o ddydd Llun i
    ddydd Sadwrn, neu rhwng 11am ac 8pm ar ddyddiau Sul.

    Nodwch mai ein swyddogaeth yn bennaf yw ymchwilio ac ymateb i
    sylwadau, cwynion ac awgrymiadau am wasanaethau Trenau Arriva
    Cymru. Os ydych chi’n cynllunio taith ac angen cael amserau a
    chostau tocynnau, neu holi a oes unrhyw darfu ar wasanaethau,
    ewch i [3]www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk
    neu [4]www.nationalrail.co.uk.

    Yn gywir

    Cysylltiadau Cwsmeriaid

    Trenau Arriva Cymru

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    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/
    2. http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
    3. http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/
    4. http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
  • 25 Customer Relations responded to Meg Kingston close 12:20 07 May 2012
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    07 May 2012

    Your Case Reference: ATW-120501-H23

    Dear Sir

    Thank you for your e-mail which has been received via
    FixmyTransport.com.

    Receiving feedback from our customers is important to us, and I
    am grateful for you taking time to report these issues. However,
    we would ask any customer wishing to log an issue with us to
    make direct contact with us, rather than submit it to us via a
    third party.

    Our e-mail address is
    [email address].

    We look forward to hearing from you in due course.

    Yours sincerely

    John Haynes

    Customer Relations Advisor

    Arriva Trains Wales

    Tel 08456 061 660

    E-mail [email address]

    Web www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk

    Address St MaryÂ’s House, 47 Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF10 5DJ

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  • 26 Customer Relations responded to Meg Kingston close 16:01 13 Aug 2012
    Thank you for contacting Arriva Trains Wales. Your message has
    been received and assigned the reference number  ATW-120812-7PQ.

    Our usual target response time is ten working days, and we aim
    to provide you with a full reply within this timescale. If you
    have any queries in connection with your case, then please
    contact us on 08456 061 660. We're open between 8am and 8pm
    Mondays to Saturdays, or 11am until 8pm on Sundays.

    Please note that our role is primarily to investigate and
    respond to comments, complaints and suggestions regarding Arriva
    Trains Wales services. If you are planning a journey and need to
    find out times and fares, or to check if there is any disruption
    to services, please visit [1]www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk
    or [2]www.nationalrail.co.uk.

    Yours Sincerely

    Customer Relations

    Arriva Trains Wales 

    Diolch am gysylltu â Threnau Arriva Cymru. Mae’ch neges wedi
    cael ei derbyn a rhoddwyd iddi’r rhif cyfeirnod ATW-120812-7PQ.

    Deg diwrnod gwaith yw’r amser ymateb rydym yn anelu ato fel
    arfer, a’n nod yw rhoi ateb llawn i chi cyn pen y cyfnod hwn. Os
    oes gennych unrhyw ymholiadau ynglŷn â’ch achos, cysylltwch â ni
    ar 08456 061 660. Rydym ar agor rhwng 8am ac 8pm o ddydd Llun i
    ddydd Sadwrn, neu rhwng 11am ac 8pm ar ddyddiau Sul.

    Nodwch mai ein swyddogaeth yn bennaf yw ymchwilio ac ymateb i
    sylwadau, cwynion ac awgrymiadau am wasanaethau Trenau Arriva
    Cymru. Os ydych chi’n cynllunio taith ac angen cael amserau a
    chostau tocynnau, neu holi a oes unrhyw darfu ar wasanaethau,
    ewch i [3]www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk
    neu [4]www.nationalrail.co.uk.

    Yn gywir

    Cysylltiadau Cwsmeriaid

    Trenau Arriva Cymru

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    Visible links
    1. http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/
    2. http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
    3. http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/
    4. http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
  • 27 Customer Relations responded to Meg Kingston close 08:06 22 Aug 2012
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    22 August 2012

    Your Case Reference: ATW-120812-7PQ

    Dear Sir/Madam

    Thank you for your e-mail which has been received via
    FixmyTransport.com.

    Receiving feedback from our customers is important to us, and I
    am grateful for you taking time to report these issues. However,
    we would ask any customer wishing to log an issue with us to
    make direct contact with us, rather than submit it to us via a
    third party.

    Our e-mail address is
    [email address].

    We look forward to hearing from you in due course.

    Yours sincerely

    Mark Davies

    Customer Relations Advisor

    Arriva Trains Wales

    Tel 0845 6061 660

    E-mail [email address]

    Web www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk

    Address St MaryÂ’s House, 47 Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF10 5DJ

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  • 28 Meg Kingston commented close 08:41 22 Aug 2012

    Dear Arriva Trains,
    my email address was provided to you on 30th August LAST YEAR. Your reply was negative, as posted above.

    If you insist on removing this conversation from the public arena, I ask that you supply me with your email to facilitate. Your response has a blank in the field for your email address.

    There has been local press coverage of this problem: http://www.freepressseries.co.uk/news/monmouthshire/monmouthshire_news/9464923.Access_improvements_for_Chepstow_rail_station_could_cost___2m/

    I would have taken a photo of the steps, but I was advised by a member of staff that I am not allowed to take photos in the station.

  • 29 Myf Nixon commented close 09:19 22 Aug 2012

    Hello Meg,

    I suspect that Arriva have muddled up their email addresses and that this was a reply intended for a different campaign. I will contact them and try to get to the bottom of it (although as you've noted, they are not very keen to interact with us).

    To be fair, FixMyTransport strips out all email addresses in an attempt to protect our users' privacy, so that wasn't a deliberate move from Arriva.

    I am sorry that your problem is ongoing. Are you inclined to keep campaigning?

    anorak
    admin
  • 30 Meg Kingston commented close 09:40 22 Aug 2012

    The campaign goes on, but I can't do it single-handed.

    Arriva seem to take the view that sending us into England and across the rail lines (unaccompanied, of course) is acceptable. And printing a booklet which is permanently unavailable. They're just not interested in actually addressing the problem.

    The local papers aren't interested unless it's "News".

    Other local media aren't interested at all.

    People who use the station aren't interested 'cos they can manage.

    Short of getting someone to film me crossing the lines in my wheelchair, I don't see what else we can do.

  • 31 Myf Nixon advised Meg to write to Nick Ramsay. close 10:00 22 Aug 2012

    Now there's an idea ;)

    No - we don't really recommend you go on the tracks...

    Have you tried contacting your local Assembly member, Nick Ramsay? He does have a specific remit for making sure the local public transport is adequate for all his constituents. It might be worth getting him on side.

    anorak
    admin
  • 32 dglp commented close 12:21 22 Aug 2012

    These recent comments are timely given the current focus on paralympics and access to public transport. I suppose most people will know of the recent Guardian articles.

    On the campaign front, are train companies subject to FoI requests? Would there be any prospect of getting information about Arriva's work to date on improving accessibility? Similarly, would there be a reasonable prospect of creating a league table of such works across the UK?

  • 33 Brian Seaman commented close 12:43 22 Aug 2012

    Have you tried #NoGoBritain? It's the kind of campaign that C4 TV might be interested in: http://www.channel4.com/news/no-go-britain. I'm sure they could film your plight.

    Also do Arriva Wales offer a free taxi service from your nearest accessible station if your station is inaccessible? Other train operators do - so it's worth asking.

    You could also try David Sindall who is the access guru at ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies). He is a hearing aid user so an email might be best: David.Sindall@atoc.org.

    Hope these suggestions help - and best wishes from afar :-)

  • 34 Myf Nixon commented close 13:25 22 Aug 2012

    dglp: Thanks for reminding me. we recently had communciation from the DfT, who provided us with a list of stations which are being improved for accessibility under the 'access for all' programme: here. Chepstow is not mentioned.

    Our contact also said: "People can e-mail DfT with suggested stations for inclusion in the programme or they can contract train operators or local authorities who will also be consulted about their priorities. Please note though that stations will not be selected by “votes” but that each project will need a full business case before it is included in the programme. For this and for general advice then people can contact railwaysforall@dft.gsi.gov.uk For smaller scale improvements then people should lobby the train operators in the first case."

    Which is hopefully concrete advice for Meg to follow.

    Train companies are unfortunately not subject to the FOI act as they are not public bodies, unfortunately. Anomalously, neither is Network Rail, although you can contact them via our sister site WhatDoTheyKnow.com.

    anorak
    admin
  • 35 Meg Kingston commented close 14:28 22 Aug 2012

    Thanks All,

    quick summary of points so far:

    Arriva bounced my complaint saying they weren't planning to work on Chepstow station.

    Channel 4 never even replied.

    In theory Arriva will provide a taxi, but they sent one that couldn't even get my wheelchair in his boot once I had transferred into a car seat.

    AM, MP and local council have all been contacted. The only response came from Veronica German who has since lost her seat. Like the local paper, they're only interested in a one-off photo shoot.

    Yes, I could spend all my time mailing and remailing everyone, but I have other priorities and very little time.

  • 36 Brian Seaman commented close 14:56 22 Aug 2012

    Hi Meg,

    I've just had a chat with Chepstow Racecourse to find out if any disabled racegoers use the train station. If so, have suggested the racecourse support your campaign for improvement.

    Best wishes,
    Brian

  • 37 Meg Kingston commented close 15:13 22 Aug 2012

    Hi Brian,
    thanks for that. Do you have a contact name there?

    Ta,
    Meg

  • 38 Meg Kingston wrote to Nick Ramsay following Myf Nixon's advice. close 15:24 22 Aug 2012

    Dear Mr Ramsay,

    I have been campaigning for improvements to access at Chepstow railway station for some time. See press coverage here:

    http://www.freepressseries.co.uk/news/9020179.Disabled_passengers_at_Chepstow_face_round_trip_to_Gloucester_in_order_to_get_to_Cardiff/

    and here:

    http://www.freepressseries.co.uk/news/monmouthshire/monmouthshire_news/9464923.Access_improvements_for_Chepstow_rail_station_could_cost___2m/

    and my online campaign here:

    http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/provide-non-stepped-access-to-chepst

    This issue is still not being addressed, with Arriva Trains refusing to even consider improving the access.

    I wonder if you would be prepared to add your weight to the campaign?

    Thank you,
    Meg Kingston
    Writer and Chepstow resident. Oh, and wheelchair user.

  • 39 Brian Seaman commented close 15:31 22 Aug 2012

    They're all in a meeting at the moment Meg, but have left a message. We'll see if anyone phones back.

    This is the link I tried: http://www.chepstow-racecourse.co.uk/about-us/the-team.php.

    Have also asked them on Twitter to support you :-)

  • 40 Dave H commented close 16:40 22 Aug 2012

    I use a station where step free access was eventually provided at the far end of a cul de sac on one platform, when the goods yard was developed as a housing estate. A direct and shorter route on to that road was possible but the developer, and British Rail (well it was a few years ago) didn't really prioritise batter customer facilities, and so this access was blocked by providing a strip of garden for one of the new houses to block the route.

    Just recently another field directly across the road from the station has been developed for housing, and in digging foundations and clearing the site a small mountain of a few hundred tons of subsoil etc is sitting on the site - eventually I suspect it will cost the developer (Barratt) a moderate sum to haul off site (in large trucks blundering along a small country lane, and causing damage to the road and additional CO2 emissions) and tip somewhere (at a cost).

    Directly across the road there is space on the land owned by the railway to tip all of that material, and delivert the substantial part of a ramp to the platform which currently doesn't have one. As far as I can see there has been no tie-in through the Council suggesting this as a section 106 opportunity for the developer to offer 'planning gain' (a polite way of describing a legal way of persuading the Council to grant planning permission), and the inertia of project planning with the railway means you need to suggest something like this at least 10 years before you can expect to see it delivered, unless there is a massive lobby, or inescapable financial case to expedite matters. So we'll lose the opportunity to build a ramp and deliver a fully accessible local station 'paid' for, through the developer putting some of the savings on haulage etc and donated material in to the project, vastoly reducing or even eliminating the cost to the railway.

    It strikes me that your local knowledge has identified a way to build an access to the up platform, which might even be funded as a spin-off from a local development. So you should be looking for an alternative to battering on the front door of Network Rail who own the station and ultimately dictate what work is done (Arriva TW merely lease the site and run the station). As you are also in Wales this should be comng under the transport policies and plans of the Welsh Assembly, and some different priorities and tests could be applied.

  • 41 Jordan, Katherine (AM Support Staff, Nick Ramsay) responded to Meg Kingston close 09:52 23 Aug 2012
    Dear Ms Kingston,

    Thank you for your email to Mr Ramsay requesting his support for
    your campaign to improve disabled access at Chepstow railway
    station.

    In order that Mr Ramsay can consider your request please could
    you supply your home postal address so that we can check you are
    one of Mr Ramsay’s constituents?

    I look forward to hearing from you with your address.

    Kind regards,

    Katherine

    Katherine Jordan

    Support Staff Nick Ramsay AM

    Constituency office

    16 Maryport Street

    Usk

    NP15 1AB

    Tel. 01291 674898

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  • 42 Meg Kingston added an update close 10:02 23 Aug 2012

    Address sent.

    Thanks for getting back to me. :)

  • 43 Myf Nixon commented close 15:32 23 Aug 2012

    Relevant story in the news here (sorry to those who dislike the Daily Mail):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2192089/Mothers-prams-wheelchair-users-face-FIVE-MILE-detour-rail-station--access-ramp-built-inches-low.html

    In that case, how hard could it be to correct the fault with a little tarmac?!

    anorak
    admin
  • 44 Meg Kingston commented close 11:08 25 Aug 2012

    Possible progress, folks.

    I have received a letter from our local AM (that's Assembly Member, for those outside of Wales). He is writing to Passenger Focus on our behalf.

    Also - I have been in touch with the Daily Mail (thanks for the tip-off, Myf) and there may be something about us in the Mail on Sunday tomorrow.

    Fingers crossed...

  • 45 Myf Nixon commented close 10:20 28 Aug 2012

    Wow, that's fabulous! Was there anything?

    anorak
    admin
  • 46 Meg Kingston commented close 16:29 30 Aug 2012

    No, afraid not.

    I've spoken to them and they're hoping to have something in this Sunday (2nd Sept).

    I'll let you all know!

  • 47 Meg Kingston commented close 11:57 27 Sep 2012

    I'm afraid the paper never did print anything.

    However, we have some new news and I'll try letting them know, just in case it' interesting.

    News follows...

  • 48 Meg Kingston commented close 11:58 27 Sep 2012

    I have received a letter from Nick Ramsay, our local AM (Member of the National Assembly for Wales. He has received a more helpful reply from Passenger Focus.

    The reply he received is quite long-winded, but the salient points (to me) appear to be:

    A fully-accessible lift over the lines would cost £1.75M / at least £2M and require a CCTV setup, too.

    There is a possibility of extending the car park on the other side of the station, which would provide access to the second platform. No costing given.

    Chepstow is a relatively low-use station and there are lots of others in the same category.

    They claim that ‘alternative arrangements’ can be made including a taxi to a more accessible station. (Except Passenger Assist won’t provide one when asked.)

    They refer to the letter I sent them then also state that there would be further difficulties if I planned to travel with my mobility scooter. Which is why I told them I would be travelling in my manual wheelchair.

    At least the issue is attracting some attention and they have sent a considered reply. But they’re not making any promises.

    Thanks for your help, Nick – you are making progress where I failed to do so.

  • 49 dglp commented close 13:20 27 Sep 2012

    That seems like progress of a sort. But I am dismayed by the apparently high-handed attitude of the Passenger Focus writer, who seems to think you don't deserve a direct response. That means more time and effort getting your AM to act in loco. I would think Ramsay could urge them to be more attentive in their dealings with customers, in both written and service responses, i.e. by providing the promised taxi service.

    Good work on your part, glad to see some cracks in the castle walls...

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Chepstow Rail Station in Chepstow operated by Arriva Trains Wales
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