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Station ‘discrimination’ must end says MSP

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Station 'discrimination' must end says MSP

A LACK of disabled access at train stations across the region has sparked debate in Holyrood.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth recently asked a question to Transport Secretary Fiona Hyslop in the Scottish Parliament to ask what action is being taken to improve the accessibility for disabled people of train stations in Dumfries and Galloway.

The Labour MSP has called for the end of “discrimination” against disabled people at Kirkconnel Station, as only one of the platforms is wheelchair accessible, he said: “Even after the work at Dumfries station, almost half the stations in the region will still not be fully accessible.

“In particular, Kirkconnel station has no disabled access whatever to the southbound platform, which means that one of my constituents, who is in a wheelchair, had to stay on the train from Glasgow to Sanquhar, change there and take a northbound train back from Sanquhar to Kirkconnel, because they could not initially get off the train at Kirkconnel.

“There have been feasibility studies on what is needed to end that discrimination against disabled people, but my constituent wants to know when there will be action to make Kirkconnel station fully accessible.”

Speaking after the session, Colin Smyth added: “It is shameful that disabled people are still being are locked out of some train stations in Dumfries and Galloway.

“The UK and Scottish Government’s both have a responsibility to make sure our train stations are fit for purpose – but both have failed miserably with half of our local stations either almost completely or partly inaccessible for disabled passengers.

“Dumfries and Galloway deserves a modern, accessible rail network so our communities can thrive.”

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