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Town train station shares £20m disability access cash

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Currently disabled travellers have to perform a U-turn via Brockenhurst to get off at platform 2 (Photo: stock image)
Currently disabled travellers have to perform a U-turn via Brockenhurst to get off at platform 2 (Photo: stock image)

DISABLED passengers are set to benefit from improved access at Totton railway station thanks to a share of £20m of government funding.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps announced earlier this month that 124 stations across the country would benefit from the cash injection from its Access For All programme.

It was launched in 2006 to address the issues faced by disabled passengers and those facing mobility restraints, such as heavy luggage or pushchairs, when using railway stations.

Mr Shapps said: “This is just the start of a much more ambitious agenda. My goal is to go much further in the years ahead to help ensure that our country’s transport system becomes one of the most accessible in the world.”

Due to the large number of steps at Totton, disabled people travelling from the direction of Southampton are unable to exit from Platform 2.

Instead, they must continue along the line to Brockenhurst before changing platforms and getting back on a train to Platform 1 at Totton.

The site in Station Road will gain £238,000 from the Department for Transport as part of a £303,000 project to create level access to Platform 2.

Cllr Neville Penman, who represents Totton at a town, district and county level, has been campaigning for three years to get improved access at the station.

He told the A&T: “I previously applied for an Access For All grant and we got down to the last two. This time it has been a success.

"After three years of work it is great for Totton railway station to be granted part of the funding which means we will get a new disabled entrance and exit on platform two.”

He added: “This is great news for disabled users. Not only can they get on at Totton but now they will be able to get off. This will also benefit mums and dads with pushchairs.”

Cllr Penman is also in the process of formally adopting the station from South Western Railway and is setting up a community group which would maintain it.

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