We read with interest your recent comments at the Institute of Economic Affairs’ conference on the future of rail, stating that accessibility on our railways is high on your list of priorities as Minister of State for Transport. This is encouraging news and we fully support you in this goal.
As you will be aware as a former local MP, Richmond Borough is well served by rail, yet certain stations have been left in a time warp and are deficient – particularly in accessibility. One station in particular is Whitton Station. This is not an insignificant backwater; it sees over 1.2 million travellers a year – more passengers than Walsall or Gloucester! Yet, if you are a parent with a buggy, an elderly person with mobility difficulties or disabled, it is not fit for purpose. It has very steep stairs and a single exit on either side of the platform. This is unacceptable for a busy town centre station.
We invite you to visit the station as Minister of State for Transport to see for yourself the sub-par facilities available and hope that you will agree with us, that this vital transport connection must be high on your list for modernisation and accessibility funding. With the recent regeneration of our High Street, the opening up of a new local supermarket and many small independent shops; as well as its close proximity to Twickenham Rugby Stadium and the Stoop Memorial Ground, it is more important than ever that Whitton Station is opened up to ALL residents, and visitors who will play a vital role in the town’s continued economic growth.
We look forward to your response.
Cllr Gareth Elliott, Grant Healy & Marc Hope