Number 10 visit in Leeds rail station entrance row

Phil Gleeson and Tim McSharry near the site of the proposed entrance to the station.
Phil Gleeson and Tim McSharry near the site of the proposed entrance to the station.
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DISABILITY campaigners are heading to Number 10 Downing Street on Monday to hand in a dossier of their objections to plans for the new £16m train station entrance in Leeds.

The group, headed by campaigner Tim McSharry, chairman of the Access Committee for Leeds, and Victor Jackson, of the National Federation for the Blind, will meet with Louise Ellman MP, chairwoman of the Transport Select Committee.

The campaigners are involved in an ongoing row with Network Rail about access for disabled people to the new south entrance to the station.

They say the plans for the entrance, due to open in 2014, which links to the waterfront area and the south side of the city, are aimed at pedestrians and neglect the needs of wheelchair users or those who need to be dropped off by car or taxi.

Mr McSharry said: “The access is simply not good enough for disabled people. This project needs to comply with all relevant equality legislation and accessible design standards. The support received from disability, older people and carers organisations, locally and nationally, has been amazing.

“And as part of this joint campaign for transport equality and inclusion, we are visiting Downing Street on January 6 to outline our concerns and discuss them in more detail. As part of our fight for transport equality, we are grateful to Councillors Keith Wakefield and Neil Taggart for the support to ensure the voices of all station users are meaningfully considered in this matter.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “The new entrance includes step-free access, through provision of a lift and ramps, to all platforms and public areas of Leeds Rail Station.

“It is a non-vehicular access to supplement the two vehicle access points already in existence at the station; the taxi rank at New Station Street and public car park and drop-off point off Aire Street.”

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