Lack of accessibility on the northbound platform at Burntisland Railway Station was one of my election pledges. Simply put, in 2018 it is unacceptable that a railway station does not have disabled access for passengers joining or alighting from a train.
The current situation leaves wheelchair users and/or those with limited mobility having to plan their journey very carefully. Either they have to stay on the train until Kirkcaldy and then cross the platform via the lift and subway or exit at Inverkeithing, Aberdour or Dalgety Bay and take a (pre-booked) taxi back to Burntisland.
I have written to Network Rail requesting a meeting. I am aware this is a long running issue (decades old) and I believe that it has to be looked at again. At this stage if you or anyone you know has had experience of using/attempting to use Burntisland Railway Station and you have mobility issues then please do get in touch. I have spoken with the local media about this to try and generate feedback too.
Letter to Network Rail
Diversity & Inclusion
Network Rail Limited
1 Eversholt Street
15th April 2018
Inclusive Rail Travel For All: Disabled Access, Burntisland Railway Station
I am writing in regard to the lack of disabled access on the northbound platform at Burntisland Railway Station, Fife. This platform is inaccessible to wheelchair users and is difficult to access for pram users and those with decreased mobility.
Whilst the southbound platform has had a ramp constructed to allow access, the only way to access the north side is via steps. Both researching and speaking with rail users I have been advised that wheelchair users and those with limited mobility should remain on the train until Kirkcaldy where they can cross the platform via lift and subway and then take a train back down the line to Burntisland and alight at the southbound platform, thus utilising the ramp. Alternatively, a disabled user could alight at Aberdour Railway Station and order a taxi to take them to Burntisland – again this means additional time has to be factored into any journey.
Whilst I understand that passengers with a disability can book assistance at a station through the Passenger Assist system this is not always possible. Booking in advance means that a rail user who needs assistance loses out on any element of spontaneity in their journey. Whilst those without disability can do this it means that disabled rail users who decide to travel to or from Burntisland have to plan in advance.
I note that though your Access for All Fund an additional six Scottish stations have been added for upgrade, but this does not include Burntisland.
At this stage I would like to request a meeting with Network Rail to discuss accessibility and what progress will be made to ensure that Burntisland Railway Station has full disabled access on the northbound platform. Burntisland has three Ward councillors and I would envisage that all would like to meet with you and discuss this further.