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Author Topic: Campaign for disabled access ramp to platform 1 at Nailsea & Backwell Station  (Read 24777 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2013, 10:41:54 pm »

From the BBC:

Quote
Ramp access to Backwell and Nailsea station delayed


A spokesman for First Great Western said disabled access ramps should be built in the next year

Members of a disability group in North Somerset say they have been left frustrated by delays in building ramps to allow them to use a railway station.

Backwell and Nailsea station only has ramp access on one side and the group says even this one is too steep to use. First Great Western (FGW) was given ^1.23m to build two ramps in 2011, but work has not yet started. A spokesman said the project had been delayed because of subsidence and work to extend the car park.

Lack of a ramp on the Backwell side means wheelchair-users have to ring up a day in advance of travel to get a taxi to bring them back to the station from Bristol Temple Meads. And wheelchair-user Andy Hull said he had banged his head on the wall using the existing ramp to the Nailsea platform. He described it as "scary as hell", adding "my god does it accelerate fast down that slope".

Alison Morgan, from Backwell Access Group, said they had been campaigning for the ramps since 2007. She said the woman who started the campaign died in September so would not be able to see the work completed. Ms Morgan, who has been in a wheelchair for 12 years, said the lack of useable ramps had "taken another freedom and independence from my life".

FGW was given money to fix the problem by the Department for Transport (DfT), as part of their Access For All scheme, but it must be used by March 2014.

A spokesman for FGW said the embankments needed shoring up before the ramps could be built, but this could not be done while North Somerset Council was doing work to extend the car park. Any more contractors on site would mean nobody would be able to access the station, he said. "In practical terms it's very difficult for us to complete this work before March. The DfT... is aware of those restrictions and we have gone to them and said it makes much more sense for us, for our customers, to make sure access to the station is maintained and is safe, to defer these works, and they've assented to that."

He said the work "should happen in the next year".

Memo to the BBC: It's Nailsea & Backwell Station ...  Shocked Roll Eyes
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2014, 02:52:25 pm »

The plans have now been approved, subject to agreement on replacements for the three trees that will have to come down adjacent to the garage. I would have thought given the restrictions on felling during the nesting season that they would come down soon.

Somewhat later than I predicted, the three trees were lopped today - the first sign of any activity on the construction of the new ramps.

And, as an update on the complete lack of progress since then, the picture today:

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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2014, 08:45:58 pm »

... and now the vegetation is returning, with no progress on the ramp-building:

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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
TheLastMinute
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« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2014, 11:48:53 am »

From the North Somerset Times

Quote
Disabled access ramp delayed
Vicky Angear, Reporter
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 2:00 PM

NETWORK Rail has quashed rumours that funding for a disabled ramp at Nailsea and Backwell Station has been pulled.

The Government pledged ^1million towards the project in December 2011, after years of campaigning by Backwell Access Group and concerned villagers. But just as work was due to start last year, Network Rail announced the project would have to be delayed due to urgent maintenance work which was needed to stabilise the embankment.

Villagers are desperate to get the ramp installed, but a date for the project has still not been set.

Network Rail spokesman, Julian Burnell, said: ^The Access for All funding that was available in control period four - which finished at the end of the last financial year - was not spent in that period. It may still be available in the current five year period and 
we and First Great Western are currently in discussion with the Department for Transport as to exactly how and when it is spent.

"The funding hasn^t been pulled, it^s still there. It has to be rescheduled as we go from one control period to another. This is a necessary piece of work and we are asking how we can make it happen as soon as possible. It hasn^t been forgotten.^

First Great Western was granted planning permission to remove a staircase on platform one and the ramp on platform two. New ramps will then be installed on both platforms as well as a new staircase on platform one.

Disabled passengers using the station currently have to warn staff a day before they are due to travel to get assistance onto the train. People in wheelchairs also have to get off at Bristol on their return journeys and catch a taxi the rest of the way as there is currently no ramp on the south side of the platform.
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TheLastMinute
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« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2014, 04:48:59 pm »

So after the press story at the start of the week saying everything was fine, it's back to square 1 as the DfT have withdrawn funding after all. From the Bristol Post:

Quote
Bid for disabled ramp at Nailsea and Backwell station goes off the rails
by The Bristol Post  |  Posted: June 20, 2014

FUNDING for a new ramp at Nailsea and Backwell railway station has been withdrawn, leaving wheelchair users unable to access the platforms.

Members of disability campaign groups were left disappointed by the announcement.

First Great Western (FGW) was given ^1.23m to build two ramps in 2011, but building work never started.

Plans for the ramps have now been withdrawn after a series of delays and a missed deadline.

FGW was given money to fix the problem by the Department for Transport (DfT), as part of their Access For All scheme, but it had to be used by March 2014.

The money has now been distributed elsewhere.

A spokesperson for First Great Western said in November last year that the embankments needed shoring up before the ramps could be built, but this could not be done while North Somerset Council was carrying out work to extend the car park.

Any more contractors on site would mean nobody would be able to access the station.

David Redgewell, a campaigner for disabled people and a wheelchair user from Bristol, said: "I feel this ramp has been stolen from us by the government. This is not just FGW's fault. The Department for Transport withdrew that money without consulting any public bodies in the area. ^1 million was put aside, and we have lost that now.

"FGW couldn't do the work last year, but no one was asked about it before the money went. As a wheelchair user, I can get a train at Keynsham or Clifton Down, but I can't get off it at Nailsea.

"Disabled people have the same rights as everyone else."

The platforms can be accessed via steps, or an old ramp that is too steep for wheelchairs.

Dan Panes, from FGW, said a fresh bid for money had failed.

He said: "We were pretty sure it would happen. But there were other schemes that got the nod before this one. Other work came up around the station that meant we couldn't do the work. We had no option but to postpone it."

Mr Panes said FGW was looking to secure funding from another source.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2014, 08:50:28 pm »

From the Bristol Post:

Quote
Disabled campaigner's anger as First Great Western train firm fails to install access ramps at Nailsea and Backwell station



A disability campaigner has set up an e-petition calling for rail bosses to be 'held to account' for failing to install access ramps at a North Somerset railway station.

Alison Morgan, 53, who has a neuro- muscular disorder and uses a wheelchair, says she has been left 'disappointed and frustrated' that First Great Western has failed to install ramps at Nailsea and Backwell railway station ^ despite having the cash allocated for the last three years.

First Great Western (FGW) was awarded ^1.23 million in 2011 under the Department for Transport (DfT) access for All Scheme. The money was ringfenced to install access ramps at both sides of the station for disabled users. However, the grant came with the caveat that the money had to be spent by March 2014, or it would be lost.

As a result of a series of delays, FGW never carried out the work and now the money has been withdrawn and distributed elsewhere. A new bid by FGW for the cash was also refused by Government chiefs.

Currently there is only a ramp on the Nailsea side of the station, but due to the fact it is steep, it is not safe for wheelchair users and does not meet Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) guidelines.

The fact that the grant has now been lost means that new access ramps look extremely unlikely, meaning disabled people are unable to use the station.

Mrs Morgan, who, along with others, campaigned several years ago for the money for the work to be allocated, hopes to collect 100,000 names on the e-petition.

If she hits the signature target, the matter will be considered for debate in the House of Commons raising questions as to why FGW did not act when it had the money available.

Mrs Morgan, pictured, said: "FGW has had the money for the last three years but did not spend it and it has now been lost. Currently there is only one ramp on the Nailsea side of the station but it is very steep, not fit for purpose and impossible to use in a manual wheelchair. This is not just a disability issue, but also an issue for young parents with buggies or pushchairs who have to carry them up the steps and the elderly who may struggle to use the current access.

"Myself and others from groups including Pensioners' Voice campaigned long and hard to get the funding allocated for these ramps and we feel we have been very badly let down by First Great Western."

First Great Western said that work to shore up railway embankments and work to expand the station car park by North Somerset Council meant the work on the ramps could not be done at the same time.

People can sign the e-petition, which already has 186 names on it at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/66712

The petition now has 500 names on it, at the time of posting this item. CfN.
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
John R
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« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2014, 09:02:19 pm »

Maybe the work to shore up the embankment, which as I understand it is separate to the ramp work, could be carried out, so at least when the money becomes available it can start immediately.
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« Reply #37 on: July 15, 2014, 09:01:09 am »

so the Bristol Post apparently don't read their own stories...

Mrs Morgan has started a petetion demanding to know why the money wasn't spent, but the Post's own article from 20 June clearly explains why. Couldn't the Post have just shown Mrs Morgan the previous article and saved her the bother!

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grahame
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« Reply #38 on: July 15, 2014, 10:03:35 am »

Couldn't the Post have just shown Mrs Morgan the previous article and saved her the bother!

No.  It's a newspaper's job to report the news, not to make the news  Wink
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« Reply #39 on: July 15, 2014, 10:51:20 am »

No.  It's a newspaper's job to report the news, not to make the news  Wink

Not a point of view held by all newspaper proprietors, I think.  Smiley

To refer back to previous articles and research a story is called 'journalism'.  That's expensive.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2014, 12:59:53 am »

An update: Alison Morgan's e-petition now has 610 signatures.
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2014, 10:47:29 pm »

From the North Somerset Times:

Quote
Disabled ramp is ^top priority^


Villagers told station ramp is 'top priority' for First Great Western.

Long-overdue funding to install a disabled ramp at Nailsea and Backwell Station could be available by December.

Campaigner Alison Morgan has been relentlessly pushing First Great Western (FGW) for answers after it missed the funding deadline in March 2014.

FGW has now confirmed Nailsea and Backwell is its ^highest priority^ and it will be reapplying for funding from the Department for Transport.

A ^1.23million Government grant was allocated for the work in 2011, but due to urgent maintenance work on the station embankment the project start date was delayed and the funding deadline missed.

Alison, who has been campaigning for a ramp for seven years, said: ^The latest I^ve heard is that they are going to ask for more funding for their Access for All projects in the Chancellor^s Autumn Statement and if they are successful then it would be up to First Great Western to put in a sufficient bid. They (FGW) have assured me they are now shovel-ready and as soon as they get funding it will happen.

^I think we^ve managed to embarrass them enough. They^ve realised I^m not going to go away and that it was a major mistake on their part to have let the funding slip through their fingers in the way they did.^

There is no ramp on the south side of the platform and people in wheelchairs have to get off at Bristol on their return journey and catch a taxi the rest of the way. Parents with pushchairs also struggle using the station.

Alison has collected more than 1,800 signatures on a petition to call for a ramp to be installed and has sent it to MP Dr Liam Fox.

Alison added: ^I feel aggrieved the deadline was missed because it^s money we fought for and a lot of people put a lot of effort in to getting the funding including Nailsea Pensioners^ Voice and young parents.^

James Davis, of First Great Western, said: ^With the history of Nailsea and Backwell Station, we will be reapplying for funding as soon as possible. It is the top priority for us. If we are successful we will then have to go through the design process.^

North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox has sent Alison^s petition to Baroness Kramer, the Government^s transport minister. In his letter he wrote: ^I hope you ensure that this public support is drawn to the attention of both your officials and FGW when the issue is next discussed.^

The Government^s Autumn Statement is expected to be released on December 3.
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
bignosemac
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« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2014, 12:50:16 am »

Crikey. Where did the NST dig that image up from? Not seen that livery (ex Silverlink) in a long time. 

That said, the campaign for disabled access to Nailsea & Backwell station has been going on since before that Class 150 came to FGW.  Roll Eyes Grin
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 12:56:40 am by bignosemac » Logged

Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2014, 01:45:09 am »

Crikey. Where did the NST dig that image up from? Not seen that livery (ex Silverlink) in a long time. 

That's why I chose to include it, in my quote of that particular news item.  Wink Cheesy Grin
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2017, 10:40:15 pm »

I referred back to this topic earlier this evening, in the context of another discussion regarding a rather similarly spectacular lack of progress on the Portishead Line re-opening.  Roll Eyes

Referring back to the situation here in 2011, we were then looking at a cost of about 1,000,000 just to build a disabled ramp at Nailsea & Backwell:

DfT have announced today the construction of a ramp at the station, cost 1m.

1 million for a ramp it does seem a bit excessive to me, but I am sure others may disagree.

Hmm.  Roll Eyes Shocked

Confession time: my own figure, suggested in this topic earlier this year, was a complete and utter stab in the dark - deliberately pitched at just under 1 million.

... that would cost about 925,000 by my reckoning ...

On that basis, I ought to have a job as a building surveyor with Network Rail!

Chris.  Wink

However, looking at how the 'cost figures' have escalated astronomically on the Portishead Line re-opening, I'm inclined to suggest that we will soon hear that 'the cost' of building a disabled access ramp at Nailsea & Backwell today (six years later) has also now risen, to 1,743,809.

 Lips sealed

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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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