I’ve set up this page as many of us mums are sick of walking up and down the steps at Carshalton Station to change platforms – there’s no limited access available for people with buggies, or indeed disabled people.
We’ve had some discussions up at the Carshalton Mums Facebook group, and several great ideas have come of this – one was to set up a petition to try and gauge the kind of support we’d get for this – after all, Carshalton seems to have tons of mums – so it can’t just be the few of us having this problem.
If you take the train to Sutton, then you’re fine – and currently the option as far as London goes (or anywhere between Carshalton and Victoria) is to either go under the tracks via two flights of stairs, to get to the other side. It’s do-able, but not ideal – or alternatively you go to Sutton, change (as they have functioning lifts most of the time) and come back.
Heather commented that she’d called Southern a while ago, as it’s possible to go into town from Hackbridge via a step-free route, and back via Carshalton – although you gain a zone – and she wanted to avoid paying the extra due to their lack of facilities. Their solution was for her to phone the assistance line 24 hours beforehand to book someone to help her over the stairs – a waste of taxpayers money!
Tash backed this up, pointing out that if any of us want any kind of change then we have to regularly ring the number, and as overall requests increase then a change is likely to happen quicker. Without regular useage (and they have to provide the help), then it’s not going to happen.
Alison suggested a petition to send to Tom Brake, the local MP to try and get something done. A company has to show it’s unreasonable/unfeasable to make any changes for people – so there’s every chance we can do something – unless it costs millions. When the Disability Discrimination Act came into effect in 2004 and updated in 2010 this is mentioned – http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/MotoringAndTransport/DG_4001077
Today I saw Tom Brake was campaigning at the Beddington Park Fayre for the AV. I asked him whether many people had come to him about accessibility to and from Carshalton Station (and indeed Carshalton Beeches), he confirmed that it had come up a few times in the past.
Basically, the problem lies with Network Rail. They don’t have the funds to do it at the moment, though it is on the list of things to do. However, we’re so far down the list that it could be several years before we see anything. Tom reckoned it would cost around 220k to get two lifts installed, and pointed out that Carshalton Beeches did a similar campaign (and they’re far worse off than us) and were told to find private sponsorship to make it happen.
Tom did point out there is an exit from the London bound platform which goes alongside the school, however it’s steps all the way – but it could potentially mean there’s only one flight of stairs to go down. I had a look today (Tuesday 3rd May) and took some photos, but really it’s all overgrown land with some streetlights, and a bricked in entrance. I do wonder if something could be done to make that entrance operational again, and indeed why it was closed in the first place? Maybe getting this opened again would be cheaper, so would mean the problem would be solved?
I’ve started an online petition, as it would be good to spread the word and get some idea of numbers of people who might be interested in helping – plus of course it’s good to let people know we want to change things!
If anyone has any comments or wants to help try and get some kind of campaign together, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks.