Michael Fabricant has expressed his "anger" at the Strategic Rail
Authority’s decision to abandon plans to give disabled access to Lichfield
Trent Valley Railway Station and says "This is a direct consequence of the
botched decision to renationalise Railtrack a couple of years back.
"I had been assured by the SRA that the upgrade of Lichfield Trent Valley
Railway station was a high priority. At present disabled people can only
access the north direction of the West Coast Main line. If they wish to
travel to London or take the cross city line, they must climb a tall flight
of steps which is difficult enough anyway for able-bodied people with
luggage." says Michael Fabricant.
"While I am pleased that the campaign to restore the Lichfield City station
has met with success, this will be of little comfort to commuters using the
West Coast Main line. Given all the disruption which will soon be felt by
residents of Armitage with Handsacre and at Whittington when the line is
widened to accommodate four tracks, I would have thought that the local
station on that line would not have had its upgrade plans axed".
The Strategic Rail Authority originally planned to upgrade 65 stations,
including Lichfield Trent Valley, and this has been cut to three because of
lack of funds.
Michael adds: "This all goes back a couple of years to the botched decision
by the Government to re-nationalise Railtrack and when discredited Stephen
Byers and John Prescott were forced to pay off all the shareholders of
Railtrack a percentage of their holdings. This cost billions from reserves
which were earmarked to upgrade our rail service. Rail experts are now
saying that there were sufficient reserves in Railtrack at the time and the
company should have been left to get on with its job without political
interference. Lichfield and stations up and down the midlands are now
beginning to pay the price".