Local residents and councillors in Keynsham are celebrating the success of a 6 year-long campaign to have a disabled ramp installed at the town’s train station.
The long-awaited ramp has finally been given the go-ahead after a bid for funding was given the green-light by the Department for Transport. After facing criticism for turning down an initial bid by First Great Western for the improvements last year, the DfT has now agreed to stump-up the £100,000 needed following a re-submission of the bid.
Local Conservative Councillors Charles Gerrish and Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North) have led calls for the ramp since launching the campaign in 2004, highlighting the fact that it is nearly impossible for travellers with mobility difficulties to access the station’s west-bound platform. They have already secured a £50,000 commitment from B&NES Council towards to scheme and a further £50,000 from First. With the money now available from the DfT, campaigners have reached the £200,000 needed for the ramp to be installed.
Welcoming the news, Councillor Charles Gerrish (Cons, Keynsham North) said:
“We are absolutely delighted that after so many years hard work and campaigning with local residents, we now have all the funding needed for this ramp to be installed. The delays have been frustrating, particularly because the money earmarked by the Council and First has been sitting there waiting to be used for several years now. But it will all be worth it once these improvements are completed.”
Cllr Brian Simmons (Cons, Keynsham North) added:
“At the moment, it’s almost impossible for disabled passengers to get onto the west-bound platform and it’s extremely difficult for anyone with a push-chair or pram since there are so many steps. This ramp is therefore vital to making train travel easier for Keynsham residents and accessible for all. Alongside this, we are also pressing the train operators to increase the number of trains which stop at Keynsham.”