CAMPAIGNERS are calling for urgent action to improve the disabled access at a railway station on the East Coast Main Line.

Thirsk Regeneration Initiative (TRI) said Network Rail, which owns the buildings at the town’s station, is letting down disabled passengers.

To exit the station, rail passenger have either to cross the main line tracks or climb a flight of stairs because there is no lift.

In the past, First TransPennine Express, which manages the station, said its staff can provide assistance if required.

Members of TRI want a lift fitted to help wheelchair users, but say Network Rail quoted them an estimate of £3m for the work.

Peter Walker, chairman of TRI, said: “If you’re in a wheelchair you can’t get to or from a train in Thirsk without assistance.

“You have to cross the tracks to get in and out too, which is a crazy situation. They’re trying to encourage people to use public transport and yet here we have people who can’t even access it.

“Network Rail are not doing anything about this and they have just come up with a figure of £3m to put a lift in, but I would think it would cost about £100,000.

“This is on the TRI agenda and we will be keeping up the pressure to anyone until we have sorted something.”

He said it was not much easier for people in wheelchairs, people with pushchairs and prams or people laden with shopping.

North Yorkshire County councillor for Thirsk, Gareth Dadd, said: “I think this situation is a great shame. Once again, Thirsk is the poor cousin to others on the rail network. Network Rail really ought to be looking at this in a more serious manner.”

Network Rail denied giving any firm cost for installing a lift at the station and said there was no proposals at the moment to improve disabled access there.

The rail company said that £3m could be seen as a very rough figure for the installation of a lift and footbridge.

A spokesman said: “We are aware of local concerns relating to access at Thirsk station.

“So far, the station has not been allocated any funding under the Department for Transport’s Access for All scheme and there are no funds available for substantial work. We will continue to work with First TransPennine Express to do what we can to meet passengers needs.”