‘No TRAIN-ing!’ – New station lifts are still not in action

Train. Library picture.
Train. Library picture.

The long-running saga of lift problems at Hemel Hempstead’s train station continues - because staff haven’t been trained on how to use new equipment claims one rail user.

Network Rail announced works to upgrade lifts at both Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted railway stations last summer.

The work - part of a £390 million Access for All scheme - was originally due to be completed in February.

In the past there have been reports of disabled travellers having to get a train back to Watford to catch a taxi to Hemel Hempstead because the lifts have either been out of order or no trained staff have been available to put them into action.

Now new equipment - expected to resolve the issue has been installed -but disabled rail user Alison Banister says it has not yet been put into action.

“It is driving me mad that the lifts at Hemel train station have been ready for at least a month, yet still no sign of them being in use.

“Apparently the staff need training. One button for up, the other for down. Seriously though, safety training can’t take very long.

“I travel weekly. I am disabled and I find it hard enough to deal with the stairs and even worse when trailing a case. I don’t know how people in wheelchairs manage. They must have to stay at home. Mums with a big buggy and kids in tow have problems too.

“Surely in this day and age, it’s not too much to expect facilities for people with disabilities.”

But Network Rail spokesman Sam Kelly said staff have been trained to use the equipment.

“We are at the final stages of the project to provide new lifts at Hemel Hempstead station. As soon as I have a date for the opening I will let you know,” she said.