MP calls for Walsall's Bescot Stadium railway station to be made more accessible

A railway station near to a football stadium should be upgraded to make it accessible for people with disabilities and parents with pushchairs, an MP has said.

Valerie Vaz made the call over Bescot Stadium station, near to the home of Walsall FC, which only has stair access to platforms which was described as "alarming".

It has led to the Walsall South MP writing to the Transport Secretary to highlight the issue – and call for funding to be made available to carry out all the changes.

She said: "My constituents, including parents with pushchairs and the Walsall FC Supporters Trust, are alarmed that the only access to and from the platforms is by stairs.

"The issue could be easily resolved by the construction of two lifts on either side of the footbridge and the addition of a direct path from the station car park to the platform southbound.

"The issue of access to Bescot Stadium affects many of my constituents, including supporters of Walsall FC and Aston Villa Women FC, who use this station to visit the Saddlers for matches and visitors to the market on Sundays and to the town centre.

"I am calling on the Government, and Transport for West Midlands to support my constituents and visitors to Walsall by providing the necessary funding to improving accessibility to the station and comply with making reasonable adjustments for accessibility.”

Ms Vaz, in her letter, said the station car park itself has several disabled spaces which "appear to be unused presumably owing to the lack of access to the station" – and described the station itself as "vital" to access both Walsall FC and Aston Villa Women FC games, along with the Bescot Retail Park and the Sunday market at the Saddlers' stadium.

"Furthermore," she said. "There is a bus stop directly outside the station car park which means people coming to these activities or visiting Walsall will be encouraged to use an integrated public transport service."

She added service providers have a legal obligation not to discriminate against people on the basis of a protected characteristic, and have a duty to make "reasonable adjustments" for people with disabilities.

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