Labour county councillors press for action on "long overdue" step free access for Crawley Railway Station
Labour county councillor Michael Jones is joining together with local residents and fellow Labour county councillors to press the rail companies to take action to bring forward step free access between platforms at Crawley Railway station.
The councillors will be joining up with members of Crawley's Town Access Group (TAG) on Monday to demonstrate how much this is needed. Changing platforms without using the existing footbridge is only possible if passengers make a long diversion around the town via the level crossing on Brighton Road.
This clearly makes it difficult for mobility impaired passengers, wheelchair users, parents with buggies, passengers with a great deal of luggage, or shoppers returning home from the town centre with heavy bags of shopping.
County councillor for the area covering Crawley station Michael Jones (Southgate and Crawley Central), had previously been closely involved as the local member in supporting a bid from West Sussex County Council as part of a bid to provide match-funding of £50,000 to a fund being administered for making stations accessible by the Department of Transport. Unfortunately, the council was told in May that the bid was unsuccessful and the Government had chosen to spend all its money on Southern stations in the London area.
Councillor Jones has written to Southern Railway stating that despite this setback, there is still an extremely pressing need for Crawley station, as a busy station serving a town with a large population size, to be a priority for future investment in step free access between the platforms.
Cllr Jones said,"This is urgently needed and long overdue. None of us are getting any younger, and I see all sorts of people struggling to get over the bridge, sometimes with buggies. I do wonder if it may have put off some people from coming to Crawley town centre to visit or shop over the years.
"I did make the point to Southern that most of the major towns in West Sussex now have step free access. In recent years, Worthing, Chichester and Horsham stations have all had the necessary modifications put in, to allow for step free access. Crawley, despite being one of the largest towns in West Sussex, does not. As soon as money becomes available this must become the priority."