Chinley Station misses out on accessibility grant

Chinely Station
Chinely Station

High Peak MP Ruth George has slammed the lack of access at Chinley Railway Station - after it again missed out on a request for funding.

The cash bid was submitted to install a lift to improve access to the platforms, but it was rejected because the cost of the project is too high and cannot be supported under grant guidelines.

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Mrs George said: “I believe due to the high numbers of people with disabilities and frailty who would like to use the station but are prevented from doing so, and the limited alternative options, the station is not compliant with the Equalities Act.

“I will be exploring this with Northern and with Chinley and Buxworth Transport Group to see if we can find a way forward as such exclusion of people with disabilities from transport access is unacceptable.”

The battle to make the train station in Chinley accessible for those with a disability, travelling with a pushchair or luggage, has raged on for several years.

Derbyshire County Council said the changes would cost more than £2million.

Campaigner Paul Tattam, from the Chinley and Buxworth Transport Group, said: “My thoughts are with the people this will impact on once again.

“The fact that in 2019 people are still unable to catch a train because of a lack of proper access is frankly ridiculous.”

The plan was to install lifts at the station, which only has a steep metal staircase as access to both platforms, but this has fallen through as the campaigners cannot apply for mid-tier funding grants as the project is too big.

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Alastair Morley, community rail officer for economy, transport and environment at the county council, said: “A review of the scheme and of the design feasibility assessment which was undertaken last year, has been carried out.

“Fundamentally the costs stated in the report are significantly less than other recently successful comparable schemes at other stations which for two lifts to existing bridges were £2.7m and £1.9m.

“The assessment of the costs total £2.3m for Chinley.

“Unfortunately as a result the cost of the scheme is more than double the £1m available meaning that this will not be taken forward as a mid-tier scheme project.”