Lib Dems' long campaign for Step-free access at stations across Merton

September 2023: Rail companies and Merton Council have failed to prioritise making Haydons Road Station step free.

We have been working to ensure that chances aren’t missed when the next round of Government funding, Access for All, is available. 

Earlier this month we confirmed with train company Govia ThamesLink that they have bid for Government money and hope to hear this Autumn. Separately we are trying to ensure the Council has resolved plans for works on ‘its side of the fence’ - ie the access road by the flats at 1 Caxton Road, which needs to be improved if pedestrians will exit the station there. We know that the Council has now set aside some funding too, although we understand this is mainly for works on the station platform itself. 

Cllr Kirsten Galea and Cllr Paul Kohler at Haydons Rd station

July 2023: Work starts at Motspur Park, focus must now be on Raynes Park

After a decade long campaign by the Merton Liberal Democrats, work has commenced on the new Motspur Park station to deliver step-free access.

The local Lib Dems have been campaigning for step-free access at train stations across Wimbledon and we are pleased that work at Motspur Park has commenced. We continue to work for Raynes Park to be made step free.

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Local Lib Dems want step-free at Raynes Park station.
Local Lib Dems want step-free at Raynes Park station.

July 2023: Work starts on Motspur Park station after a decade long campaign by local councillors

Work commenced on the new Motspur Park station – including step-free access – earlier this year after a 10 year campaign by the Merton Liberal Democrats.

At first this was turned down by Network Rail and was not initially supported by the Labour-run Council. Eventually, after securing match-funding from the Council full funding was finally confirmed in 2020 and building work finally commenced in March of this year.

A new, covered footbridge with lifts will replace the current structure and will create step-free access to the platforms.

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July 2023: Ticket Office Closure Consultation

Train companies want to close ticket offices at our local railway stations – at Wimbledon, Raynes Park, Motspur Park, Haydons Road, Mitcham Eastfields, Mitcham Junction and Tooting.

Station staff in ticket offices provide important support and help to passengers, particularly elderly or disabled residents.

Hundreds of passengers use our stations every day and being able to find staff at the ticket office is even more important if there is an interruption to services, such as periods of extreme weather or issues with the train network.

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March 2022: Raynes Park station - the campaign continues

According to a survey of Raynes Park residents, 91% use the station to travel towards Waterloo, where there is a ramp up to the platform. Presumably these 91% of people want to come back!

Victoria Wilson, Matthew Willis and Chessie Flack - Lib Dem campaigners in Raynes Park and the rest of the Merton Lib Dem team continue to push for accessibility to be improved on platforms 3 and 4 where there is still no step-free access to leave the station.

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March 2022: Action to make stations 'step-free' blocked

Last night, Labour Council bosses bizarrely blocked a proposal to help make more local stations become "step-free".

Speaking after the meeting, Lib Dem lead councillor Anthony Fairclough said:

"For several years local Liberal Democrats have campaigned to make local stations step-free. Many nearby stations are currently only accessible by stairs, presenting significant difficulties for wheelchair users, parents with prams and others with mobility problems."

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Sept 2021: Accessible Haydons Road

While the eastbound platform at Haydons road station can be accessed without using steps, the westbound platform can't. This is problematic for many residents - especially the elderly, people with disabilities or limited mobility, and families.

When planning permission was granted for the development at 1 Caxton road, one of the conditions was that step free access to the platform would be granted via the development. However, no progress has been made....

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July 2021:  In a victory for local campaigners, Motspur Park station is set to be made 'step-free' - but Raynes Park station has been overlooked yet again.

For several years local Liberal Democrats have campaigned with members of the community to make local stations - particularly Raynes Park and Motspur Park - step-free. These stations are currently only accessible by stairs, presenting significant difficulties for wheelchair users, parents with prams and others with mobility problems.

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April 2020: Motspur Park station to be made step-free!

In a victory for local campaigners, Motspur Park station is set to be made 'step-free' - but Raynes Park station has been overlooked yet again.

For several years local Liberal Democrats have campaigned with members of the community to make local stations - particularly Raynes Park and Motspur Park - step-free. These stations are currently only accessible by stairs, presenting significant difficulties for wheelchair users, parents with prams and others with mobility problems.

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April 2019: A step back on step free access

Today the Department for Transport announced that it had turned down an application for funding to make Raynes Park and Motspur Park train stations accessible for all.

The decision follows a major campaign by the Merton Lib Dems calling for the installation of lifts or ramps and the two stations, and comes as a shock to the local community who were very supportive of the campaign.

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Dec 2018: Step free a step closer

We are really pleased to hear that train company South Western Railway have applied to the Government's ‘Access for All’ fund for funding to put a lift or ramps into Raynes Park and Motspur Park stations.

Lib Dem councillors Eloise Bailey (West Barnes) and Anthony Fairclough (Dundonald) have been working since Summer to encourage the train company to apply, and to get Merton Council to agree to look at a financial contribution to help the application.

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Sept 2018: Council backs step-free stations

Merton Council has passed a Liberal Democrat motion to help get lifts and ramps at local stations.

The plan commits the Council to look into positive action it could take to improve accessibility of stations across the borough, including encouraging and assisting train companies to apply for funding designed to make more stations in Merton accessible, and step-free.

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West Barnes Lib Dem Cllrs at Motspur Park Station
West Barnes Lib Dem Cllrs at Motspur Park Station

March 2017: New franchise awarded for South West Trains

The government have recently announced the award of a new franchise for South West Trains, to commence on 20th August 2017 and run for the next 7 years.

As part of this contract, the franchisee will have set targets for improving passenger satisfaction with stations.  Raynes Park and Motspur Park stations are, unfortunately, not specifically mentioned for improved access.

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July 2015: Train company must push for step-free improvement

Residents and local campaigners have been shocked to discover that South West Trains is not pushing to make local train stations more accessible.

The local Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for step-free access at local train stations. To use Motspur Park station, people must use stairs to get the central platform. Whereas at Raynes Park station, whilst there is a ramp to get to the London-bound platform, the other platforms can only be accessed by stairs. Yet there is a commitment from the rail industry to improve access to its stations and the Department for Transport has an “Access for All” fund to pay for changes.

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May 2014: Step-free access at Motspur Park and Raynes Park stations

Merton Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for step-free access at Motspur Park and Raynes Park train stations.

Over 1,200 residents have signed a Lib Dem petition to improve access.

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Lib Dem campaigners at Raynes Park station
Lib Dem campaigners at Raynes Park station
Step-free access at Motspur Park and Raynes Park train stations