Finnie calls for action to make all Scottish railway stations “step-free”

Scottish Greens transport spokesperson John Finnie MSP is today (27 Dec) calling on Scottish Ministers to speed up action to make all Scottish railway stations “step-free” to improve accessibility for people with mobility difficulties and families with prams and buggies.

A Freedom of Information request to Network Rail from the Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands reveals that of over 350 stations in Scotland, only 40 are officially classified as “step-free”, although some may have platforms accessible via paths. 

The Scottish Greens are concerned that the programme for improving the remaining 310 stations is too slow - the current Access for All scheme for 2014-19 only contains six Scottish stations (Blairhill, Elgin, Hamilton Central, Kilmarnock, Kilwinning and Westerton). 

John Finnie MSP said:

“The travelling public, including people with mobility issues and families using buggies and prams, deserve an easily-accessible public transport network as our railways are a public service. The Scottish Government is moving too slowly on this issue, and indeed there’s an irony as the financial penalties incurred by ScotRail for poor performance under the Service Quality Incentive Regime help fund the necessary improvements. We clearly shouldn’t be relying on a poor rail service to generate the cash for step-free stations and platforms.

“Scottish Greens want a public transport system that is accessible and affordable and we will continue to press for faster action on step-free stations.”