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Conwy Valley station access fixed

02 Dec 2023 3 minute read
John Court is just one passenger who found himself stranded on the platform at Dolgarrog Station

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

A village railway station is now accessible to disabled passengers and parents with pushchairs after Network Rail finally fixed a problematic gate.

Disabled passengers and parents with prams complained they could be left stranded on Dolgarrog platform, due to a kissing-type gate on the western side of the railway that was too narrow for pushchairs, bikes, and wheelchairs.

But after pressure from angry rail users and press coverage, Network Rail has finally fixed the problem by removing a quadrant of metalwork.

Risk assessment

Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders welcomed the news.

“I hope that the new layout makes the gate easier for all to use,” she said.

“When £2m has been spent on re-pairing and re-opening Dolgarrog bridge, and £1m on making the railway station flood resilient, it beggars belief that accessibility has been hindered by a bad gate arrangement.

“I welcome the recent action by Network Rail and now hope that a longer-term option will be implemented next financial year”.

She added, “Network Rail have asked an engineer to visit the site to find solutions to make the crossing compliant for cyclists. They have also set up a camera to monitor the current usage, conduct a risk assessment, and ensure that the crossing meets the needs of its users.”

Cllr Aaron Wynne was also pleased the problem with the gate had been fixed.

“I’m grateful to Network Rail for sorting this out and making Dolgarrog Station accessible to all,” he said.

“The station was frustrating for anyone wanting to use the train.

“I’m glad Network Rail has listened to the concerns of local residents who value and use the Conwy Valley railway line on a regular basis.”

Disability rights

Last month grandad John Court, 61, said he was livid when he was forced to lift a pram over the gate.

“I’ve got a thing about disability rights, and they are getting ignored all over the country, people parking on disabled bays, people parking on drop curbs,” he said.

“The gates at Dolgarrog Station won’t open to allow someone with a pram or wheelchair to get through. It is absolutely disgraceful. My grandson has just had his second birthday.

“We were going on a walk, his father and me, from Dolgarrog Station to Dolgarrog, and we found once we got over the railway track, we were stuck. It was lucky there were two of us. We had to take my grandson out the pram, and then I had to lift the pram physically over the gate while my daughter’s boyfriend carried him through the gate.

Network Rail were contacted for a comment.

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