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Letter to the Editor: access for disabled people is shocking

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Dear Editor,

I’m responding to your story concerning ‘access for all’ at Stroud station, about the need for improved access to all the station’s facilities.

I feel the headline that you have used does not clearly explain the whole story.

(‘On the right track: MP wants railway station improvement’)

I wonder if it would be useful for your readers to learn more about the situation. A film (see below) was made on behalf of Stroud Town Council and local people to illustrate the problems of access for all, including the disabled.

FILM BY Pip Heywood

I am rather surprised that Ms Baillie did not mention the previous and ongoing campaign Stroud Town Council has been running for many years concerning the station’s access issues.

The way the story is currently being promoted makes It appear to be something that she has been campaigning for on her own. Ms Baillie organised for a photo of her and her family being affected by the problem of crossing between platforms at the station. The image used is credited to the office of Siobhan Baillie. This suggests that it was an organised photo shoot rather than an actual issue she discovered for herself at the time. The film more clearly relates the problems to the wider public and focuses on access for all campaign.

I gather that in previous months there have already been meetings between the town council, GWR and Network Rail to examine how the new tranche of funds might be applied for and to address and initiate specific improvements.

The local MP’s question in Parliament does seem part of a personal campaign rather than being part of the actual long running coordinated effort by multiple parties to achieve the vital improvements that have long been necessary. I would hope that the public understand the placing of this story in the historical context.

I am of course very pleased that the issues are being raised and delighted that there may be greater chances of funding available in the near future. I just feel there should be greater clarity and a wider perspective shone on this situation.

Thank you for your help with informing the public about this important issue.

I must add that I was involved in the production of the film I have referred to.

Kind regards,

Steve Hurrell

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