I can travel to Edinburgh by train - but I can’t come home again ...

James Page at Burntisland station.
James Page at Burntisland station.

A WHEELCHAIR user from Burntisland has criticised the recent restoration of the station as one platform is still inaccessible to the disabled.

James Page (59) says that the work undertaken by the Fife Historic Buildings Trust should have included making the northbound platform accessible to disabled people and claims that the station is in breach of the Disabled Discrimination Act.

He said: “This was an opportunity missed. The northbound platform is completely unusable for a disabled person.

“Say I want to go to Edinburgh for the day? It’s fine to get there but what happens when I come back? Where do I get off?”

Mr Page, who was transport spokesman for the former Fife Independent Disability Network, now Disabilities Fife, says that Transport Scotland has measures in place to assist disabled people but they don’t always work.

“In theory they’re supposed to provided transport for you from the nearest accessible station,” he said.

“But once I was on a train that didn’t have a ramp, another time they’d sent a taxi to the wrong station. I got my own taxi and they told me to bill them. I did and waited six weeks to get the money back. I’ve just given up trying to get a train now.”

Having been diagnosed with MS 34 years ago Mr Page can no longer get around without his wheelchair and said that the process of making platforms disabled friendly is a slow one. “It’s all down to money,” he said.

“The busiest stations in Fife get done first whilst the others are considered to be less important.”

Mr Page has also criticised the Railway Heritage Trust for giving the station the award saying says he was angry when he saw the picture of the award ceremony in last week’s Fife Free Press.

He said: “I would have thought that Gordon Brown as a disabled person himself would have something done about this situation.

“Everyone in that picture should be ashamed of themselves.”

David Torrance MSP, who was at the ceremony, said he was aware of Mr Page’s plight. “I’ve written to transport minister Keith Brown on two occasions on Mr Page’s behalf,” he said.

“But unfortunately, due to financial restrictions, there are no plans to upgrade the northbound platform.”

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “While creating step free access to the north bound platform would present a significant engineering challenge, we will continue to keep Burntisland under consideration for investment to improve access.”