Letter - Disabled access at Westgate Station isn’t good enough

FOLLOWING a recent visit to Wakefield Westgate Station my friend, her mother-in-law and I were appalled by the disability access of which it provides.

My friend’s mother-in-law has limited mobility, meaning the amount of stairs was not a preferable option. I requested disabled access be provided in order for her to get to the other side of the platform, platform two.

However, I was informed that if she wanted to use such access she would be have to wait an additional 20 minutes at least in order for them to provide this, meaning she would miss two trains (as well as adding on additional time to her connection). So, with the aid of the handrail and I, she struggled.

Now, I fully understand the reason for this, given that is was peak time and the access route involved putting a barrier across the track; however I feel that for a large station such as Wakefield this just isn’t good enough.

So for individuals who struggle with the amount of stairs or of whom use a wheelchair, they would need to arrive at the station around 25 minute at least before their train was due, which clearly discriminates them from those not requiring the service.

This clearly demonstrates to me open discrimination, why should people with restricted mobility access have to plan their journey early?

Spontaneous trips would be out of the question unless they are prepared to wait for station staff to provide an assistance which is well within their right.

I write this letter in hope that it brings awareness to this fact, as I am sure many people who frequently use the station would not have noticed.

Given that it is 2012 I am very disappointed to see how a station by which is used by so many people, to a vast number of destinations fails to provide a major service, most likely the reason why there is no mention of disabled access under their facilities information on their website.

Rachel Jones

Lombardy Garth

Silcoates Park