Sunday, 15 December 2019

Disabled access at station to improve

ACCESS to Goring station from the village centre will be further improved following a campaign by the village’s mobility issues group.

Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, has agreed to resurface a 200m stretch of pavement on Wallingford Road between the station and the railway bridge at the top of High Street.

Contractors will reinforce the edge of the walkway nearest to the railway track, fill potholes and remove the metal stubs that were left when an old crash barrier was removed in March.

This widened the pavement to a minimum of 1.1m along its entire length, creating enough room for people with wheelchairs or prams to pass someone coming the other way without having to step into the road.

The mobility group and Goring Parish Council will pay about £3,000 each towards the work, some of which comes from donations from the Gatehampton Trust, Goring Gap News and the Swan at Streatley.

The group has also applied to Great Western Railway for a grant of about £10,000 to fit automatic power-assisted doors to the station booking office. A decision is expected by the spring and if successful the work could finish by early 2021.

It has also asked the county council to level and resurface the western approach in Station Road and add a pavement where none currently exists.

Wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs use the road, which has a steep camber and potholes several inches deep.

The proposals follow several successful campaigns by the group, including one which persuaded Network Rail to add passenger lifts when it replaced the station footbridge in 2016.

The group organised a petition which hundreds of people signed and Henley MP John Howell delivered to Parliament, forcing the company to agree.

Other improvements include the addition of disabled toilets and a lower booking counter for wheelchair users, plus the launch of a leaflet explaining how people with mobility problems can access local shops, sights and services.

John Boler, the mobility group chairman, said: “We have been campaigning for many years and are pleased to say the station is now as accessible as any you’d find in a rural location.

“We would need to take expert advice from the county council on the exact nature of improvements in Station Road but they are particularly needed.

“The current surface is dreadful in places with ruts sufficient to tip a wheelchair. It has just been patched here and there for as long as anyone can remember so I think it will be our next big focus.”

The doctors’ surgery in Red Cross Road, Goring, recently installed handrails in its corridors at the group’s suggestion and is also planning automatic internal doors.

Meanwhile, the group is seeking donations towards its annual £800 contribution to maintain the Readibus transport service for the elderly from Goring to Reading. Anyone who can help should email
contact.miggs@gmail.com

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