‘We shouldn’t have to fight for equality’ - pressure mounting to carry out £500,000 work on town station
PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:50 14 November 2019
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After more than a decade of campaigning for an accessible second platform at Wymondham station, wheelchair users, cyclists, parents and the elderly are coming together to demand action.
On Saturday, November 16, protestors will gather at Wymondham Station to demand the Cambridge-bound platform be made accessible.
Currently the only way to exit platform two is to climb two sets of stairs to a metal footbridge, which leads to a ramp exit on the Norwich bound platform.
According to those living in the town, the outdated bridge is preventing a large percentage of Wymondham residents using the train.
Dave Roberts, head of Wymondham Access Group, has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair when the condition flares up.
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He said: "We should not have to fight for equality. The new trains on the Norwich to Cambridge line have been designed so wheelchair users can use them, but what's the point if they can't even get in and out of the station?"
Mother of two Kayleigh Sexton, who lives on the Harts Farm estate, said carrying a buggy over the footbridge was an impossible task, and prevented her from using the train.
She said: "I have a three-year-old and a one-year-old, and we only have one car in the family. I want to be able to go into Norwich with the kids or over to Cambridge, but the train is impossible because you have to rely on someone else to help you carry the buggy over. It's stupid that in 2019 we can't use the train because of access."
According to South Norfolk Council, the estimated cost of making the second platform accessible is £500,000.
The district council has submitted a bid for £250,000 to the Business Rates Pool Fund.
Great Anglia, which owns the station, has also applied for £250,000 from a new Government funding programme, for schemes to improve station accessibility arrangements.
A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: "We are committed to improving access at Wymondham station as soon as possible. Our Access for All bid and collaborative approach with Norfolk County Council and South Norfolk District Council is deliberately designed to maximise the chances of securing the necessary funding as quickly as we can."