Campaign for disabled access at Kingham Station looks set to succeed

Witney Gazette: Angela Dickson and son John at Kingham Station, where plans for disabled access are under way Angela Dickson and son John at Kingham Station, where plans for disabled access are under way

AFTER more than two years of campaigning, Kingham Station looks set to be made accessible for disabled people.

About 800 people have signed a petition calling for disabled access to the only station platform on the Cotswold Line without a step-free entrance.

The petition was started in December 2011 by grandfather Steven Price because his eight-year-old grandson struggled to use the steps on the station’s footbridge.

At the time, his grandson, John Dickson, now aged 10, needed to travel to London to take part in trials of a new treatment for a muscle-wasting condition he suffers from.

Now, First Great Western’s Cotswold Line stations manager Teresa Ceesay has said that preparations are under way for a planning application for both disabled access and a 100-space car park extension.

It is understood the new footbridge will have lifts.

A grant is expected to be sought from the Department for Transport, which has a fund for schemes to improve disabled access at stations.

First Great Western spokesman James Davis confirmed the process was under way but could not release any more details.

He said: “There is an aspiration to improve access to disability.”

John’s mother, Angela Dickson, 37, said: “I am very pleased that this will go ahead.

“Only last week one of John’s friends, who is in wheelchair, was going to visit on the train but couldn’t get off here.

“When John heard the news he was delighted as it means he can now go on shopping trips to Oxford.”

Mrs Dickson, who lives in Bledington with photographer husband Paul and daughter Hannah, 12, as well as John, added: “When John was going to Great Ormond Street Hospital every week, using the train would have been ideal.

“But he was unable to get up and down the steps, so we had to drive him to London instead.”

The campaign won support from the Cotswold Line Promotion Group’s Kingham committee member Graham Beckett.

He said: “The popularity of the station is increasing each year and the London-bound platform is extremely difficult for disabled people.

“It is also difficult for the elderly and people with heavy bags.

“Hardly a time goes by when you don’t find yourself trying to help someone.”

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