Lichfield Trent Valley needs to be on the agenda

Lichfield Trent Valley railway station. Pic: Matt Thorpe

Lichfield Trent Valley railway station. Pic: Matt Thorpe

Well done to Michael Fabricant for trying to get the state of Lichfield Trent Valley station on the agenda, as mentioned on his Twitter page.

Anyone who has had to use the station will share his frustration that he wasn’t successful in being called on the issue.

As a junction between key rail lines it should have some form of disabled access. And it’s not just the disabled who suffer from a station which simply isn’t fit for purpose.

Anyone who has tried carrying a child, plus pushchair and other items up and down those stairs will know it could be the qualifier for Britain’s Strongest Man.

Surely a quickfire solution could have been to open up access from the opposite end of the Cross-City Line platform to allow those who can’t manage the stairs to access the two platforms which are currently impossible to reach?

Lichfield Trent Valley is a gateway to the city for many passengers and it is a disgrace that it is being allowed to fester and fall apart. It doesn’t matter how many fancy trains or high-speed rail lines are put in place, the station is just as key to many rail commuters as the journey itself.

You only have to look at the passengers huddled into the ramshackle and massively inadequate waiting room during the winter months to see that there are real problems when it comes to the station.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

8 Comments

  1. GrovesMedia

    12th March, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Agreed. Pat on the back to the MP for taking this up.

    There’s a basic lack of joined up thinking in the deciion to finally improve the timetable at TV, but do nothing to improve access and other facilities.

  2. Phil

    12th March, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Worth a mass FixMyStreet onslaught maybe?

  3. Nick

    12th March, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Surely it’s against the law for the place to be operating as a public service without disabled access?!
    Those steps over to platform 2 tire even me out, and I’m barely in my mid-20s! I can’t imagine what a pushchair would be like to carry up and down there.

  4. Nick

    12th March, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    @Phil – I’m up for that if everyone else thinks it’s a good idea.

  5. GrovesMedia

    12th March, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    The FixMyStreet thing is a good idea. Count me in.

  6. rachelcreative

    12th March, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Lichfield Trent Valley has:

    – 6 disabled parking spaces
    – Accessible ticket office counter (staff will come out from the counter to customer)
    – Level access to platform 1 (trains to Stafford)

    What’s crazy is it doesn’t have:

    – Any access provision at all for platforms 2 or 3
    – No ramp for train access
    – No wheelchairs for transit
    – No staff available to help (presumably reason for the last 2 points)

    They mention:

    “33 steps up to platform 3 (trains to and from Birmingham). Steps down from Platform 3 to Platform 2 (trains to Nuneaton).”

    … but fail to say that for London you need to take 33 steps, walk along a bridge/passageway and then take another 33 steps down again.

    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/LTV.html#Accessibility

    Speaking as someone who has to use a wheelchair for any walking or standing which is more than a couple of minutes it’s poor to say the least.

    I can use my blue badge to park really close to those stairs I can’t use. Gee thanks.

    What amazes me wherever I find a failure of DDA compliance in modern buildings/stations is that access is not just good for people with a disability but for a wide range of customers.

    Our aging population is increasing and many people experience mobility problems or even temporary disability in terms of broken legs, back pain and so on. Plus you make yourself family friendly too allowing for prams, pushchairs and toddlers.

    By the way, a triumph for our MP keeping me informed about something relevant to me in an instant through Twitter.

  7. Phil

    12th March, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I’ve e-mailed the post to London Midland to ask for comment. We’ll see what happens.

  8. rachelcreative

    12th March, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I expect they will say that passengers requiring additional assistance should “book well in advance” and staff will always do their upmost to assist passengers.

    Not sure if they would carry a wheelchair passenger up and down 33 steps though.

    It’s actually more accessible to go from Lichfield City (where they have a lift, ramps and more staff) to Birmingham and then out again. More accessible but not terribly convieniant or practical.