Stroud Train Station | 29th August 2018
Location: Station Rd, Stroud GL5 3AP
Date of visit: 29th August 2018
There is a car park on either side to the train station, each side having two disabled parking bays. You can park for free here with a blue badge permit, you are required to enter your registration at the machine and get a ticket.
On arrival at Stroud station it is immediately obvious the accessibility issues you are faced with as a wheelchair user. It is a small train station with only 2 platforms, one either side of the station. There is a footbridge which is up a flight of stairs to take you from one platform to the other and there is no ramp or lift option. I looked around the station for some instruction on an alternative to get to the other side of the station other than the stairs, to which I could find nothing. It was only after I was informed by a member of the public that there was a noticeboard on the outside of the station with some instruction, this is located close to where taxis are stationed and is not easy to see or get to.
On this noticeboard is a map on how to get to the other side by leaving the train station and heading towards the town centre, walking under an underpass and round to the other side of the station. There are several issues I faced whilst attempting this journey:
– Firstly, looking at the map it was not clear which side of the station I was on, a ‘you are here’ icon would be useful on the map on the noticeboard.
– The map is not very big, it was impossible for me to read with a sight impairment. Large printed options should be provided in the station for people to take.
– On the map it advises you to take the left-hand side pathway on Station Road, there is no dropped kerb to mount the pathway on this side making it physically impossible for most wheelchair users to use this path.
– Travelling along the right-hand side of the pathway we were faced with a mountain of rubbish which belonged to the flats above, a member of staff from a taxi office kindly helped us to move the rubbish bags which were swarming with flies.
– Following the map I then crossed the road along Russell street on the left hand-side, when turning onto Rowcroft I was then faced with a dead end in terms of a footpath. Forcing me to turn around to try and find another route.
– I then travelled further along Rowcroft in the opposite direction to find a dropped kerb to cross the road safely. These roads are busy with lots of traffic, this could be quite daunting for somebody travelling alone in a wheelchair.
– Once you reach the bottom of Rowcroft which is a long steep decline you cross the road again to travel back up a steep incline on Cheapside, this long incline could be challenging or even impossible for somebody in a manual wheelchair.
This journey took between 10-15 minutes, if you arrived at the train station unaware of these problems you’re faced with it would be easy to miss your train. Missing your planned train is more complicated as a wheelchair user than it is for a regular passenger as you need to call the assisted travel line ahead of time meaning they would be expecting you at the other end and you would also need to re-book the assisted travel for the next train you intend to board instead.
There is only one self-service ticket machine located within the station which is on platform 1, this would be inconvenient if you needed to buy a ticket from the station and travel from platform 2, this would require doing the 15-minute walk outside of the station and back again.
Ticket office opening times are as below, if you are travelling outside of these times and needed information for example on how to get to the other platform this would prove difficult. You can call the assisted travel line which is open 06:00am-11:00pm who are able to give some direction over the phone, however this is national line and not specific to Stroud so it is likely the operator will not have been to the station itself.
|Weekdays||06:00 – 18:00|
|Saturday||07:00 – 14:30|
|Sunday||09:45 – 17:00|
There is a help point on each platform, this is placed very close to the bin on platform 1 and not very easy to get to in a wheelchair.
There is a disabled toilet on platform 1 with a sign on the door ‘key available from ticket office staff’. Meaning the toilet is out of use when the ticket office is closed. Inside the toilet is very spacious with plenty of room to turn your wheelchair around in and for somebody to assist you. The soap, toilet roll dispenser and hand towels are too high for somebody in a wheelchair. The handrails are at an appropriate height as well as the emergency cord, the lighting was sufficient, and the hygiene level was standard.
There was a café on platform 1 but this was not open when I visited. This would also be no good for passengers in a wheelchair travelling from platform 2 due to how long it would take them to get to the café.
(one out of five stars)