Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, held an urgent debate in Parliament last night to raise the matter of step-free access upgrades at Wealden train stations, Blue Badge parking at Eridge station and to probe the Minister on investment into the electrification of the Uckfield Line and a new depot in Crowborough.
Having served as Transport Minister, Nusrat was responsible for delivering the ground-breaking Inclusive Transport Strategy, which paved the way to equal access to all transport networks for people with visible and invisible disabilities. 41% of rail stations in Britain currently lack step free and this rises to 52% in the South East.
Nusrat highlighted the fantastic multi-million-pound funding secured for Eridge and Crowborough stations which are currently undergoing refurbishments to ensure step-free access, but urged the Minister to ensure that Blue Badge parking is delivered alongside these improvements. She also stressed the recent safety upgrades to Frant and Wadhurst stations, which have had warning tactile installed and a contrasting line painted to support people with sight loss. However, both these stations currently lack step-free access. Nusrat is keen to keep the momentum and pressed the Minister on ensuring that these upgrades are delivered in Frant and Wadhurst in the near future.
Nusrat also stressed the need of a major investment into the electrification of the Uckfield Line a new depot in Crowborough, and pressed for the Minister’s assurances as to when this investment will take place.
Nusrat Ghani said: “I’m pleased to have secured this important debate and bring disability access upgrades in Wealden to the Minister’s attention. Train travel is a vital form of transport for Wealden residents and securing improvements to rail services in Wealden remains one of my priorities. I have raised the matter of the electrification of the Uckfield Line repeatedly with the Department and will continue this quest to get a firm commitment as to when any major investment will take place. I am grateful for the funds that I have already secured for fantastic accessibility upgrades to Crowborough, Eridge, Wadhurst and Frant train stations, but more needs to be done. The Minister committed to joining me in Wealden to celebrate the opening of Eridge and Crowborough once the refurbishments are completed and I also welcome his assurances of future funding coming to Wealden.”
The full debate is available to watch here.