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Disabled access bid on right track
2:30pm Thursday 30th January 2014 in News
AFTER more than two years of campaigning, work to provide disabled access to the only station platform on the Cotswold Line without a step-free entrance is on track.
The Oxford and London-bound platform at Kingham is the only one at stations between Oxford and Worcester without step-free access.
About 800 people signed a petition started in December 2011 by grandfather Steven Price, whose grandson John Dickson struggled to use the steps on the station’s footbridge.
At the time, John, who is now 10, needed to travel to London to take part in trials of a new treatment for a muscle-wasting condition.
Train operator First Great Western’s Cotswold Line stations manager, Teresa Ceesay, told the Cotswold Line Promotion Group’s annual dinner earlier this month that work is under way on designs and planning applications for both a disabled-accessible footbridge, fitted with lifts, and a 100-space extension to the station’s car park.
An application for a grant towards the cost of the new footbridge is expected to be made to the Department for Transport’s Access for All fund. FGW spokesman James Davis confirmed work was under way on the plans butcould not release any more details.
John’s mother, Angela, 37, said: “I’m very pleased this will go ahead. Only last week, one of John’s friends who is in wheelchair was going to visit on the train, but couldn’t get off here.
“When John heard the news he was delighted, as it means he will be able to go on shopping trips to Oxford.”
Mrs Dickson, who lives in nearby Bledington with photographer husband Paul and daughter Hannah, 12, as well as John, added: “When John was going to Great Ormond Street Hospital every week, using the train would have been ideal.
"But he was unable to get up and down the steps, so we had to drive to London instead.”
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