South West Wales

Disabled travellers' access to station hit by building work

Men at work at Port Talbot Parkway
Image caption Network Rail said work demolishing the current station was scheduled to take place later this year

People with disabilities in Port Talbot have been travelling an extra six miles to Neath to catch a train as construction work is making Port Talbot Parkway inaccessible, a disability campaigner has said.

Work is under way to demolish and replace the station building.

The build was due to be completed in spring this year but the discovery of gas and water services led to delays.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "The site is safe and secure."

People with mobility issues can arrange access to the platform through a locked gate at the level crossing in advance of travel but Yvonne Singleton from Neath Port Talbot Disability Network Action Group has said that this does not feel safe with the ongoing work.

Mrs Singleton said: "People with disabilities have been travelling to Neath to get a train.

"If you ask in advance they will take you to the platform through the old gateway but it feels dangerous with all the building work."

Neath Port Talbot Disability Network Action Group has been consulted over plans for the new station and are happy that handrails and lifts will feature in the new build.

Network Rail said that demolishing the current station was scheduled to take place later this year.

Plans for the new station include an enclosed footbridge that will house the ticket office and waiting areas, lift access to all platforms and a large car park with a park and ride for commuters.

The spokesman added: "Alternative arrangements are in place to provide access around the station area.

"We would encourage any passengers with concerns to speak to station staff for assistance."

Image caption Plans for the new station include an enclosed footbridge that will house the ticket office
Image caption The build was due to be completed in Spring 2015 but has been hit by delays
Image caption The new station will have lift access to all platforms and a large car park
Image caption Network Rail said alternative arrangements were in place to provide access around the station

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