Momentum builds for Needham Market railway station campaign with more community leaders getting on board

A petition calling for Needham Market Railway Station to improve its mobility access is gathering pa

A petition calling for Needham Market Railway Station to improve its mobility access is gathering pace. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Support is growing for a campaign urging rail bosses to improve access at Needham Market railway station – with a string of community leaders adding their names to a petition.

Commuter Jen Overett, one of the concerned residents behind the petition, has said momentum is building for the campaign, which calls for urgent improvements to be made at the station.

Disabled passengers are currently unable to access the Ipswich-bound platform in any capacity – and at the moment, Greater Anglia bosses are paying for their onward journeys.

Those with limited mobility also have trouble, Ms Overett claims, as they find it difficult to navigate the 49 steps leading to the platform – particularly if they have heavy luggage in tow.

Hundreds of people have added their names to the petition over the last few weeks, and the campaign has also won support from Needham Market Town Council, Campaign for Better Transport and several business leaders in the town.

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Now the group are just a few signatures away from their target.

Ms Overett said: “Our petition has enthused many local residents, rail users who use the station, and others whose commute passes through the town.

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“We all share concerns at the complete lack of access to the London-bound platform for wheelchair-users, and the difficulty which the 49 steep steps regularly pose for those of us with limited mobility or who are travelling with buggies, bikes or heavy luggage.”

The group are in discussions with Greater Anglia chiefs about possible funding schemes.

It is hoped a planning meeting being hosted next Friday will outline key concerns and help drive forward improvements.

A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “There is step-free access to the Norwich-bound platform at Needham Market station. Greater Anglia pays for London-bound disabled passengers to travel via taxi to Ipswich, where they can continue their journey.

“We care about our customers and want to make sure that everyone is able to complete their journey.

“We recently met supporters at Needham Market station to discuss this further and we understand that the group is in the process of applying for an Access for All grant.”

The petition is available to view here.

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