Rosyth station on track to tackle access problems
ROSYTH railway station is to be modernised to make it more accessible for disabled people and others with mobility problems.
It is one of five stations across Scotland which are to benefit from improved accessibility as part of a £9.5 million investment.
The current facilities are also unsuitable for parents with buggies who find it difficult to negotiate a steep stairway down to the south-bound platform.
For those in wheelchairs, going to Edinburgh from Rosyth would mean using the north-bound platform and going around the Fife Circle. Not surprisingly most prefer to use alternative stations.
Rosyth SNP councillor Douglas Chapman said, "This upgrade is long overdue and will give access to the south-bound platform for mums and dads with prams or buggies and for those people who are disabled.
"After years of asking for this to be done, this Scottish Government has delivered and this is really very good news and represents a great Christmas present for Rosyth.
"The current access arrangement of some 30 steps which take you down a fairly steep embankment makes it impossible for anyone in a wheelchair or even with slight mobility problems to access the platform.
"I've also seen mums struggle with small buggies down the steps. It was a real assault course and if it wasn't for members of the public lending a hand, then they just wouldn't have got to the platform safely.
"I am keen to see this work carried out as soon as possible and today I have contacted the Transport Minister, Keith Brown, to ask him if the work at Rosyth station can be prioritised."
Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, John Park, who has been campaigning on access issues at the station for years, welcomed the announcement.
"The stairs down to the south-bound platform are not suitable for anybody with mobility problems and disabled people have really had to go to other stations or else go around Fife to get to Edinburgh," said Mr Park.
"I would think a ramp similar to that at Inverkeithing would be the best solution."
Dunfermline MP Thomas Docherty said, "This is a good Christmas present for Rosyth and also for Dunfermline South commuters. For people in Pitcorthie and Duloch this is the closest station.
"Myself and Helen Eadie have been campaigning on this issue for a number of years.
"There was a meeting around two-and-a-half years ago where we met with Fife Council, Transport Scotland, Network Rail and Scotrail.
"It's not just good news for disabled people but also mothers with buggies, people with heavy luggage.
"This is a good example of the results that can be achieved by the UK and Scottish governments working together."
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said, "No longer will disabled passengers or parents with buggies or prams face the great inconvenience of being forced to travel to Dunfermline Town to get a train to Edinburgh.
"I'm pleased that after years of pressure from local people that the Government has made this good call."
Helen Eadie MSP said, "I am delighted that the campaign to improve Rosyth has been successful.
"I have been raising the issue of accessibility at the station for years now and to finally get confirmation that Rosyth is one of five stations in Scotland to benefit is great news for Fife.
"It's vital that these improvements are made as soon as possible and I will be writing to Network Rail to get a working estimate of when works might be completed.
"Having fully accessible public transport is essential if we are to maximise opportunities for everyone."
The Department for Transport and Transport Scotland announced last Thursday that Rosyth, Dyce, Shotts, Newton and Dunblane stations have all been earmarked for investment in the latest round of the UK Government's £370m 'Access for All' funding scheme.
Funding of around £9.5m will be split between the five stations and will pay for improvements aimed at making the railway more accessible to disabled people and other passengers with impaired mobility, such as parents pushing prams.
The improvement programmes will be drawn up following Network Rail feasibility studies on each of the five stations over the coming months but could include aspects such as lifts, step-free access to platforms and more disabled parking.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said, "An efficient railway is essential in connecting communities and allowing people to access education, employment and leisure opportunities.
"It is therefore important that we make the railway in Scotland accessible to everyone and I look forward to seeing the improvements which passengers using Dunblane, Dyce, Newton, Rosyth and Shotts stations are to benefit from."
UK transport minister Norman Baker added, "Mothers with prams, the elderly and wheelchair users should not have to struggle through some older railway stations as if they were daunting and exhausting assault courses.
"That is precisely why we are announcing this major new investment in five stations where passengers will see dramatically improved access so that Britain's railways really are open to everyone."
Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, said, "This is a welcome investment that will make it much easier for customers to access these stations in future."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jan 6, 11:20
Jan 11, 17:36
re 4th last paragraph!
Did our educated Transport Minister Keith Brown actually state "Which passengers using Dunblane, Dyce, Newton, Rosyth and Shotts stations are to benefit from"? Oh dear - grammar wise!
Elsewhere - in the west of Scotland - his quango "Transport Scotland" through its RAIL 2014 franchise CONsultation (which reads more like a "what we don't want) document is threatening some recently built and fully "disabled-friendly" stations to save £208,000!
A perverse case of the right hand at Transport Scotland not being aware of what the left had is 'up to'!
Dubious double standards and most suspicious "funny-money" arithmetical figures in my "cooking of their books"!
Recommend? Yes 12 No 0
Jan 12, 19:29
ie " A perverse case of the right hand at Transport Scotland not being aware of what the left hand is 'up to'!
There's clearly quite a lot of 'jiggery-pokery' and 'wheeling and dealing' going on, no matter which hand is actually at work!
Recommend? Yes 10 No 0
Jan 13, 20:09
Dunfermline MP Thomas Docherty said, "Myself and Helen Eadie have been campaigning on this issue for a number of years.". Some people will come out with any comments to get in the paper, I suppose growing up in Dunfermline this was a big hassle for Mr Docherty.
If this £9,5000,000 is split equally between the five stations this equates to £1.9m spent on Rosyth station providing disabled access, looks like public money is getting well spent again. Surely you could buy a lift for £50k and get a lot of change.
Prime example if idiots spending money and clueless politicians thinking it is a good idea without ascertaining if it is money well spent.
Recommend? Yes 4 No 0
Feb 2, 16:39