Monday, 02 August 2021

Disabled toilet unveiled after long campaign

A NEW disabled toilet has been opened at Goring station.

A NEW disabled toilet has been opened at Goring station.

Henley MP John Howell officially unveiled the new facility, together with a plaque with a map of Goring to help visitors.

Both are part of a £3.5million upgrade of the station being carried out by Network Rail on behalf of First Great Western that also includes a new footbridge and lifts.

The footbridge, which is due to open next month, will leave space for overhead cables as the line between Reading and Oxford is due to be electrified later this year.

The Mobility Issues Group for Goring and Streatley had lobbied for improvements to the station to be made at the same time as the upgrade.

It organised a petition which was signed by more than 1,000 people and presented to Parliament by Mr Howell in May 2013.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Thursday last week, Mr Howell said: ?It is a great pleasure to be here. I have been involved with MIGGS for five years now. I presented the petition in Parliament, so I am really glad this has come to fruition.

?There is still more to be done and I am keen to continue and make sure those things get done.?

John Boler, chairman of MIGGS, said: ?We have campaigned for more than four years for changes to make the station more accessible.

?This is the first small step for the people in Goring but the big one will be when the lifts are installed. In Goring we have double the national average of people over 65 and we have a proportionally higher number of disabled people here.?

Kevin Bulmer, who represents Goring on Oxfordshire County Council, said: ?It is good to see that they have listened and agreed to the station lifts ? that is really positive. John Howell did very well lobbying for us.?

Councillor Bulmer said that at the moment disabled people had to catch a train to Didcot in order to cross the line and then catch a train back to Goring.

MIGGS also wants the pavement on the Wallingford Road approach to the station to be widened and residents have pledged £10,000 towards the cost of the work, which is likely to run into tens of thousands.

Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, and Network Rail support the scheme in principle.

Dave Martin, of First Great Western, said: ?We have seen an increase in the number of people using the network, especially in this part of the world. We are aware of other upgrades that are needed, like the pavement.?

The old iron footbridge between the four platforms was dismantled and a temporary one put in place while the new taller one is built.

All platforms will be raised and extended to accommodate the longer electric trains that will call at the station. Platform 1 has already been upgraded and will be the first to be electrified. It will then be the only platform in use as the others will be closed while more cabling can be installed.

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