Station lift campaign launched in Billericay
A CAMPAIGN to improve disabled access at Billericay Station has been launched, with politicians uniting to demand a new lift for passengers.
Despite undergoing a £1.4 million renovation and re-opening earlier this year, there is no lift to carry passengers from the ticket hall down to the platform for trains towards Wickford and Southend-on-Sea.
Instead, passengers who use wheelchairs or have difficulties using stairs have to make a long detour through the station car park, where there is no marked route for them.
John Baron, the MP for Basildon and Billericay, along with Basildon Council leader Tony Ball and the chair of Billericay Town Council, John Buchanan, have all written to the Minister of State for Rail, Theresa Villiers, asking for funding for a new lift.
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Mr Baron said: "Whilst welcoming the improvements to the station, the funding did not stretch to the one remaining drawback to the station – that being the lack of a lift on the Southend-bound platform.
"Mobility-impaired passengers are at a real disadvantage as a result.
"This needs to be put right."
He added: "All local politicians from across the political divide support the need for a lift.
"Tony Ball and John Buchanan have therefore co-signed my letter to express that support."
Greater Anglia, which runs the routes through Billericay station, said they support any efforts to get a new lift at the station.
A spokesman said: "We welcome the support of John Baron MP and our local authority partners for the installation of a passenger lift at Billericay station as part of a future 'Access for All' scheme, to help provide improved access to the Southend-bound platform.
"We are keen to see this happen and will continue to work with John and partners with a view to securing a positive outcome."