Bradford on Avon
John Murray Roberts
A - Step-free access - Plymouth, St Austell, Penzance;
B1 - Limited access - Up platform only, Down platform has steep ramp - Lostwithiel;
B1 - Limited access - between some platforms via street - Truro, Camborne;
B2 - Limited access - steep ramps - St Budeaux Ferry Road, Saltash, Redruth, Hayle;
B2 - Limited access - Up platforms only, Down platform has steep ramp - Liskeard;
B3 - Partial access - Down platform only - Devonport, St Germans, Menheniot, Bodmin Parkway, Par;
B3 - Partial access - Up platforms only - St Erth;
C - No access - Dockyard, Keyham.
Although some stations appear to be step-free, there is a specified limit to ramp gradient and those stations with steep ramps have to be put into a lower category. I recall that Hayle footbridge was removed in the 70s (?) and the barrow crossing provided with miniature red/green lights, but latterly there's a move to remove as many crossings as possible. Some may be used with staff supervision, but as staffing has been cut back this is increasingly rare. If you can reach the platform, some stations and trains have a portable ramp for those who cannot step up, but this is not permitted at Saltash, and the TOC may provide a bus or taxi to an accessible station.
Branch stations are generally more accessible as they have only one platform:
A - Bere Ferrers, Bere Alston, Sandplace, Looe, St Columb Road, Newquay, Perranwell, Penryn, Falmouth Docks, Lelant, St Ives;
B1 - Gunnislake, Coombe Junction, St Keyne, Luxulyan, Bugle, Penmere;
B2 - St Budeaux Victoria Road, Calstock, Causeland, Roche, Quintrell Downs, Falmouth Town, Lelant Saltings, Carbis Bay;
C - nil.
A good summary of current GB stations is here: National Rail Accessibility Map.
As to future projects, yes I'm afraid it is down to money. DfT has an Access for All programme which has addressed 1,500 stations, but to complete the remaining 1,000 stations would cost a further £4bn. DfT budgets about £50m per annum and invites bids from interested parties. The stations are then prioritised according to passenger flows and usage v likely benefits. It may be relatively easy to provide ramps or lifts but sometimes there's no space or it's not structurally possible. Projects should also consider wider benefits, so I would expect that St Austell was prioritised as a busy station, but also to ease the Par to London flow, however inconvenient it is to travel from Par via St Austell.
It's not possible to make every station accessible quickly. Sometimes the engineering is the easy part but delayed by wider issues. As an example, from privatisation to opening of the multimodal hub St Erth footfall has increased fivefold. It was designed in 2010, but as a listed building it's had to go through extensive planning and a ramped bridge and lift bridge were refused in 2013 and 2014. The government announced funding for it in 2019, for completion by 2024, and a lift bridge has recently been accepted, albeit reluctantly by the heritage bodies. If you want to know why it's so difficult, the planning application alone runs to over 400 pages, but contains a lot of interesting information which would be worth keeping in the CRS archive:
I understand the existing footbridge is going to Cranmore.
I hope this answers Mr Martyr's question. Best wishes, John Roberts.
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Regards, Clive Smith.
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