Call for train station access to be improved

Campaigners calling for improved access at Needham Market train station met at the town's Limes Hotel on Monday
Campaigners calling for improved access at Needham Market train station met at the town's Limes Hotel on Monday

Campaigners calling for better access at Needham Market Train Station met council officers on Monday.

The group, which sent a letter to Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling last month, wants to apply for an Access for All grant for the station.

Needham Market train station is currently served by two flights of steps at either end of the subway between the two platforms. There are 49 steps in total, making it impossible for wheelchair users to access the station and causing difficulties for parents using pushchairs, cyclists and the elderly with luggage.

County councillor Ann Whybrow and district cllr Wendy Marchant signed the letter. A petition has also been launched, gaining about 1,300 signatures, which campaigners hope to present to the Mr Grayling in the coming months. It was decided Cllr Whybrow would approach MP Jo Churchill to ask for an opportunity to do this.

The station is currently used by nearly 100,000 passengers a year, a number the group says could increase with improved access and more homes being built in the town.

The total amount available for Access for All grants will be released in October, with decisions made on its distribution in 2019/20.

The Access for All programme aims to provide accessible routes at busy train stations. If successful, Needham Market could receive funding for routes into the station and to and between platforms.

The meeting was held at The Limes Hotel.