Bolt calls for Government station cash

A CAMPAIGN for disabled access at Mirfield Railway Station is being stepped up after a train operator refused to spend its own cash on improvements.

Northern Rail said sorting it out would be too costly for them – which town councillor Martyn Bolt (Battyeford) says he understands.

He instead wants the Government and county-wide public transport regulator Metro to cough up for improvements to the eastbound platform.

Coun Bolt, also Kirklees mayor, said: “I understand Northern Rail’s position. Their franchise is up for renewal soon, and such a large investment wouldn’t make sense when the length of the next franchise is uncertain.

“The only places investment can come from are Kirklees Council and Metro, which is essentially Government funding.

“There’s been a new station built at Wakefield and new stations planned for Kirkstall and Apperley Bridge.

“Mirfield is the Kirklees district’s only direct link to London and it’s about time the Government invested in this area as well.”

Northern Rail said installing a ramp, which would need other works to be done as well, was too expensive. Putting a lift in could be cheaper but would be more vulnerable to vandals as Mirfield is an unattended station.

A spokeswoman added: “We ensure passengers who require step-free access are able to travel safely throughout our network.

“If one of our stations is inaccessible, we’ll provide alternative transport to the nearest or most convenient station.”

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