Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, is calling upon Stockton Borough Council, Northern Rail, and the Tees Valley Combined Authority, to work together to make vital disability access improvements to Billingham Railway Station.
Billingham Railway Station is the only station in the Tees Valley without any form of step-free access to any platform, and accessibility issues have been raised for a number of years to no avail. Despite a number of improvements made by Stockton Borough Council – including new hand-rails, anti-slip stair treads, a new waiting room and a new footway on Leeholme Road – Billingham’s classification as a bottom tier station has meant that it has previously missed out on the Government’s “Access for All” funding pot.
Following changes to the “Access for All” funding criteria, feasibility work is being carried out by Stockton Borough Council, and a bid will be put forward by them and Northern Rail.
Alex, who raised the issue of disabled access several times over the years, said:
Our duty to people with disabilities is extremely important, and a project to correct failures of the past at Billingham would be very welcome. I know the Council has worked hard to make improvements but time and again the lack of Government cash has thwarted them.
I’m really pleased with the work they are doing and I hope the Tees Valley Combined Authority – the five council leaders and the Tees Valley Mayor – will back them to the hilt and use every influence they have with Government Ministers and others to get the cash needed to rectify Billingham Railway Station’s lack of disabled access.