A bridge too far for mums with prams in Bamber Bridge?

The 'dangerous' pedestrian rail crossing which will be replaced by a footbridge.
The 'dangerous' pedestrian rail crossing which will be replaced by a footbridge.
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Parents with prams fear they will be cut off from their toddlers’ playground after plans for a railway footbridge without ramps were given the green light by councillors.

Network Rail intends to close the current pedestrian crossing over train lines near Bamber Bridge to improve safety.

But residents who cross the tracks from Asland Close to access Withy Grove Park and its popular play area are angry no provision has been made for pushchairs, wheelchairs, or for people who struggle to climb stairs.

They face a long detour to reach the park and are calling for ramps or even a lift.

“Because it has steps the design is inconvenient to mothers with prams, cyclists, people who are in wheelchairs and to the older generation who maybe struggle to climb stairs,” said Martin Topping who lives nearby.

“How on earth can South Ribble say the council promotes the needs for the elderly and disabled and then allow a design that totally discriminates against them?

“This design should have been rejected purely on the grounds of discrimination.”

Coun Barrie Yates, who serves on both South Ribble and Lancashire County Councils, said: “I was at the meeting and I did voice my concerns that the bridge was not disable friendly and asked that Network Rail consider adding a lift so disabled residents and mothers with prams could also use the bridge.

“Hopefully Network Rail will take the concerns of our residents and the planning committee into account. This is a very dangerous railway crossing without a footbridge.

"The committee had to make a decision on the application before them and decided that the bridge would make crossing the railway line a safe crossing, but expressed their concerns of the bridge not being disable friendly.”

Network Rail was contacted for a comment.