Passenger 'had to crawl over bridge' at Pontefract Monkhill station

Lifts are to be installed at Pontefract Monkhill station as the railway station is chosen to receive a share of a multi-million pound fund to help improve accessibility.

Thursday, 27th February 2020, 11:22 am
Updated Thursday, 27th February 2020, 11:23 am

The £20m government fund, announced on Wednesday, is part of a new scheme to improve journeys for disabled people when using public transport.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The ability to travel easily from A to B is an essential factor for our day to day lives - but is not the reality for everyone.

‘I feel like a second class citizen’ disabled rail passenger says over absence of wheelchair access.

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Lifts are to be installed at Pontefract Monkhill station as the railway station is chosen to receive a share of a multi-million pound fund to help improve accessibility.

“I recognise that we have much more to do, which is why we’re making 16 train stations across the Yorkshire and the Humber more accessible - a key part of levelling-up access for disabled people to transport and opening up opportunities for all.

“My goal is to go much further in the years ahead to help ensure that our country’s transport system becomes one of the most accessible in the world.”

Under the plans, Pontefract Monkhill station will benefit from the installation of lifts, while 18 other stations across Yorkshire, including Darnall, Dodworth, Silkstone Common and Penistone, will see accessibility improvement.

Residents have previously complained about a lack of accessibility at Pontefract Monkhill station, where only one platform is accessible.

Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, said: “It’s great news that after all our campaigning, Pontefract Monkhill station is finally to get funding from Government to get the disabled access it so desperately needs. I spoke to one passenger who had to crawl over the bridge at Monkhill while a stranger carried her wheelchair.

“It shouldn’t have taken so long to get this funding - especially when they unfairly turned us down last time. No one should be denied the chance to travel because of their disability. But our long campaigning - including petitions and discussions with Ministers - has finally paid off.

“Now we will keep up the pressure until the improvements are in place and I won’t stop campaigning until we get the same improvements for Knottingley Station too.

"We also need major station upgrades and improvements to the rail network across our towns in the North because we’re still not getting a fair deal on transport. Thank you to all those who supported the campaign to get Pontefract Monkhill improvements.”