Rail campaigners take fight for better station access to London

Victoria and Michael Abbott-Fleming, Katie Toft, Miriam Walton, Nusrat Ghani, Ruth George and Paul Tattam.
Victoria and Michael Abbott-Fleming, Katie Toft, Miriam Walton, Nusrat Ghani, Ruth George and Paul Tattam.

Campaigners have taken their fight for better access at Chinley’s railway station all the way to London.

Paralympian cyclist Katie Toft and Victoria Abbott-Fleming, a double amputee from the High Peak, made the journey along with Paul Tattam and Miriam Walton, from Chinley and Buxworth Transport Group, and High Peak MP Ruth George to meet with Nusrat Ghani MP, Undersecretary of State for Rail Access.

Mr Tattam, who has been campaigning for better station access since 2015, said: “It is encouraging we have been listened too.

“We have not yet achieved our goal, but to be talking to the Department for Transport about our problems and being taken seriously is a big step forward and one we couldn’t have done without the help and support of our MP, who has really got behind our cause.”

Mr Tattam and Ms Walton presented the results of an in-depth survey and stressed the poor state of repair of the footbridge at Chinley, the importance to the community of an accessible railway station and the continuing growth in usage of the station.

They also handed the minister a dossier prepared by Peak School pupils about what it would mean for them to be able to use Chinley Station for school trips.

Mrs George added: “People with disabilities are entitled to access public transport and the state of Chinley station is not acceptable.

“I was very pleased the minister agreed to meet with us and I give credit to the hard work of local campaigners on this issue over several years.

“She was very positive and hopes Chinley Station will be put forward by Northern for an Access for All grant when these re-open for bids.”