30 April 2008
By Kate Shannon
Fight for access at railway station
A BURNTISLAND man who relies on a mobility scooter is calling on railway bosses to sort out wheelchair access at the town’s station.
James Page, who has Multiple Sclerosis, has been campaigning for years for First ScotRail to take action on the 37 steps which prevent disabled passengers from getting on or off the northbound platform.
And he believes news of the refurbished waiting room at the station, complete with “step-free access and automatic doors” adds insult to injury.
Mr Page, who is a member of Fife Independent Disability Network, said: “Having read that the waiting room on the northbound platform at Burntisland station has been re-opened with “step-free access”, I went along to investigate and discovered that there are still a minimum of 37 steps, and was told that the automatic door is still manually operated only.
“When can those of us who use wheeled mobility aids expect to be able to use this facility? I would point out that under the Disability Discrimination Act any facility that is denied to a person on grounds of disability is illegal.
“How can it have disabled access if it still has these steps which means disabled people cannot get down to the waiting room?”
He believes the whole situation at Burntisland station is ridiculous.
If Mr Page travels to Edinburgh, on his return journey he has to get off the train at Aberdour and then get a bus to his house, and on some journeys he has to go all the way to Kirkcaldy and then home in a taxi.
First ScotRail has told Mr Page in the past they will provide a taxi for him but this is only applicable at stations frequented by taxis equipped to deal with disabled passengers, which Burntisland is not.
He added: “It just doesn’t make sense not to have disabled access at Burntisland.
“They are also losing business because people like me would use this service because we have the time.”