Angry community activists are set to submit a petition to the local MP calling for disabled access to be installed at Pokesdown railway station in Boscombe.
Pokesdown Community Forum vice-chair Pam Ruthvan will hand over a petition with over 1,200 signatures to Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood at an event tomorrow. Mr Ellwood will then deliver it to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Transport.
Mrs Ruthvan said: “People can’t use the 42 step station who have wheelchairs, arthritis, asthma, prams, children and luggage. We want to know why our station hasn’t been put forward for having lifts when all stations are supposed to have access. So this is our demonstration against that.”
Mrs Ruthvan explained that they have been told that lifts cannot be installed due to a low footfall.
She said: “Of course there’s a low footfall because half the population of Boscombe and Southbourne can’t use the station. They’re using that as a reason for not doing it but they can’t use that excuse anymore because people know they’re trying to spin us a line.”
South West Trains Communication Manager Lindsay Reid said: “Yes, Pokesdown station is not accessible to wheelchair users. Therefore customers using Pokesdown … station are currently offered a free taxi service to or from the nearest accessible stations, Bournemouth or Christchurch, when they book travel assistance through our dedicated passenger assistance helpline.
“Our passenger assistance helpline is advertised on our website.”