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Bridge ‘railroaded’

Posted on November 27 2017 at 3:02:18

I read your article in November’s edition concerning the disabled lifts at Barnt Green station with a feeling of frustration and disappointment.

Network Rail appear to have got away with not providing the lifts, to the dismay of all.

On checking the planning applications they made, it seems they took full advantage of loopholes in the system in order to “railroad” the necessary permission for the replacement bridge, while at the same time making promises they seemingly had no intention of honouring.

To now cite the Disability Discrimination Act in the way reported in your article is both disingenuous and inaccurate.

Section 21 of the Act requires the service provider “to take such steps as it is reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case for him to have to take in order to provide a reasonable alternative method of making the service in question available to disabled persons”.

Network Rail have therefore flagrantly breached their obligations under the Act. It was perfectly reasonable for them to have accommodated disabled people while installing the new bridge; they even said so to the parish council.

To now renege on their given undertaking and say that they are not obligated to incur unreasonable cost is an outrage. The cost is only unreasonable because they have made it so by not accommodating the requirement in the first place.

I have also sent this letter to Sajid Javid and I now call on him to intervene to ensure adequate provision is made for disabled people to use Barnt Green station as has been done at Alvechurch.

Maurice Bourne, Barnt Green


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