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Formby Labour Action Team and MP Bill Esterson celebrate campaign success as new lifts will be installed at Formby Railway Station


Formby Labour Action Team is celebrating following the announcement of their successful campaign to get lifts installed at Formby Railway Station.

The Formby Labour Action Team launched the campaign to get lifts installed at the station because older residents, disabled people and people with pushchairs were forced to contend with steep flights of steps to get from the ticket office down to the platform.

Formby's Labour MP Bill Esterson even took the campaign to parliament where he called on the government to re-establish funding to Merseytravel to allow improved access at the station.

Merseytravel had earmarked the improvement work at the station until the Tory-Lib Dem Government came to power and promptly slashed the transport authority's funding.

The Labour Action Team, together with MP Bill, launched the campaign to get the access improvement back on track.

Merseytravel this week announced that work on installing two lifts, on both the Liverpool and Southort-bound platforms, will get underway at the start of next year and will be due for completion in August 2015.

Bill said he was delighted that Merseytravel had listened to the campaign.

Bill said: "Formby Labour Action Team and I have had numerous meetings with Merseytravel chairman Cllr Liam Robinson on this issue. I am really pleased that he has listened to our concerns and agreed with us, and the residents of Formby, that these lifts are urgently needed.

"When I raised this issue in Parliament, the Tory Transport Minister said that the lifts were not needed at Formby Railway Station because there was already disabled access. This Minister had clearly never been to Formby.

"I am pleased Cllr Robinson listened and has taken action. This is great news for the people of Formby and I would like to congratulate Cllr Catie Page, Cllr Peter Maguire and Cllr Nina Killen and the whole of the Formby Labour Action Team for ensuring that this issue stayed on the agenda."

Formby Labour councillor Catie Page said this was a victory for common sense.

Cllr Page said: "It is perfectly clear to anyone who has ever used Formby Railway Station that the disabled access there is unacceptable.

"The steps there are steep and impossible to use for many disabled people, or even people with pushchairs.

"It has been one of the biggest issues that residents have raised with me in the four years that I have served as a councillor, but it predates even that as it has been an issue raised with the Formby Labour Action Team for years.

"We thought before 2010 that we were going to get the improvements that we desperately need, but the cuts imposed by this government on Merseytravel meant that even though there were plans in place, they had to be shelved.

"So we are now all obviously delighted that the scheme is going ahead at last and by summer next year everyone will be able to use our town's railway station."

Fellow Ravenmeols Ward Labour councillor Peter Maguire said it had been a long campaign.

Cllr Maguire said: "I believe that this is an excellent decision by the Labour-run Merseytravel who have listened to the many people of Formby who have been calling for a lift to be installed at Formby station which will aid those who find it difficult to access the ticket office or cross the bridge to change platforms.

"It has taken a considerable amount of campaigning by the Formby Labour Action Team including my colleagues Cllrs Nina Killen Catie Page and Bill Esterson MP. I would also like to express my thanks to Cllr Liam Robinson and the other members of the Merseytravel board for commissioning this work."

Harington Ward Labour councillor Nina Killen said this was good news for residents and visitors alike.

Cllr Killen said: "For anyone who struggles with steps, including older people, disabled people or even people with pushchairs, Formby Railway Station was a place to avoid.

"Being a mum myself, I have in the past avoided using Formby station because it has been so difficult to buy tickets and then get down to the platform with children, in particular with children in pushchairs.

"This is great news for everyone in Formby, residents and visitors alike, and our local businesses who rely on a regular flow of visitors."



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