Government funding for West Lancashire train station accessibility improvements.
Rosie Cooper has welcomed the news that three local train stations are set to receive funding to add more accessible digital display screens and upgrade passenger waiting facilities. But in what may well turn out to be a bitter-sweet day, campaigners for parity with Merseysiders for off peak free rail travel were told by an unelected baroness that the provision of support for similar concessionary fares would be for the Lancashire County Council to consider and fund.
The Department for Transport wrote to Rosie last summer to inform her of the nationwide funding being made available as part of the Inclusive Transport Strategy and Access for All programme.
In correspondence to MP Rosie from the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, he confirms that Ormskirk, Aughton Park and Town Green will benefit from a share of £20 million government investment, funded through the Mid-Tier Access for All programme, for accessibility improvements including new lifts, accessible toilets and customer information screens.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper commented “I am pleased to hear about this investment in Ormskirk, Aughton Park and Town Green stations to provide more accessible digital display screens and upgrade waiting facilities for passengers.
“I continue to campaign for investment in and improvement to the rail network here in West Lancashire from upgrades to make our existing stations more accessible to bigger projects like Skelmersdale Railway and reinstating the Burscough Curves.
“All passengers should be able to easily access and enjoy rail travel and the provision of these screens and improved waiting areas is just another small part in extending that access, particularly to those with visual impairments. However, I have responded to the Transport Secretary urging him to bring forward more funding to enable Town Green to become a step free access station, increasing accessibility even further”.
So the “left behind northerner” elderly and disabled of West Lancashire can have no equality with the hugely subsidised Liverpool City Region Combined Authority elderly and disabled people. The unelected Baroness Vere of Norbiton has declined a request on behalf of the Prime Minister who passed the buck to Grant Shapps Secretary of State for Transport who passed the buck to the Noble Baroness who just happens to describe herself as the “Transport Minister for Roads and Security”. You couldn’t make it up!