Accessibility at Marsden station has been raised with the Secretary of State both by Thelma Walker MP and by Cllr Donna Bellamy.
Until May 2018, most westbound trains used platform 3, with level access. From 20th May 2018, most eastbound trains used platform 2, accessed by steep steps and with a height difference of 51cm between the train and the platform. [SMART had advised against this, but we were ignored.] The reasoning behind the change is that use of platform 2 saves 1 ½ to 2 minutes, which makes a difference on a line as busy as Huddersfield-Stalybridge.
The kindest thing to say is that the train companies and Network Rail didn’t realise that the height gap was a great as it was.
It’s evident that use of platform 2 has been troublesome operationally. First of all TPE changed their operating practice to only open one centre door at Marsden westbound, then in January 2019 TPE stopped using platform 2 on a regular basis. It’s this latest change which has meant that all westbound trains run two minutes late (or should that be two minutes later than they would otherwise have been).
Thelma Walker MP now reports:
I am delighted that after raising the issue of accessibility at Marsden Station with the Secretary of State for Transport in the Chamber and in private meetings, action is being taken to improve platform access.
As a temporary measure, an Easy Access Area will be put in place on Platform 2, and there is a longer-term plan to raise the whole length of the platform as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade.
Cllr Donna Bellamy adds:
Marsden station platform 2, just had further update after an assessment has taken place the Original solution was Harrington Humps for 1x set of doors on P2 at Marsden. The Plan has since changed to be a ‘Dura’ platform raise for the full (99m) length of the platform. this does mean that the work completion will be slightly longer but should be done by the end of March.
Of course, there needs to be a bit of perspective here. This is a mitigation of a problem which should never have been created in the first place. It is no substitute for full disabled access to all platforms.
When we met the Secretary of State we asked for confirmation that the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) would provide full disabled access to all platforms at Mossley, Greenfield, Marsden & Slaithwaite. We do not yet have an answer.