A GOVERNMENT minister has agreed a meeting to discuss improving access to a south Cumbrian railway station which currently has dozens of steps.

On the floor of the House of Commons South Lakes MP Tim Farron challenged the Government to improve accessibility at Staveley railway station.

Speaking during Transport Questions in Parliament, Mr Farron said: “Staveley station in my constituency on the Lakes Line from Oxenholme to Windermere has 41 steps to get up to it.

“It is 100% inaccessible to anybody with a mobility problem and it is an outrage.

“We have bid to several pots over the years but because it’s not a mainline station it never qualifies for any funding.

“Would the minister meet with me and local rail campaigners to make sure that Staveley station is accessible for everyone?”

Responding, the Rail Minister Kevin Foster said: “Well as he’ll know we’re making great progress with our Access For All programmes across stations.

“We’re also completing an accessibility audit of all stations on our network.

“But yes I’d be very happy to meet with him to talk about his own station, and I’m also looking forward to announcing the latest round of stations that will benefit from Access For All improvements next year.”

But Mr Farron said the Government scheme often overlooks rural stations like Staveley.

He said: “I’m really grateful to the minister for agreeing to meet with me to discuss the accessibility issues at Staveley.

“The criteria for the Government’s Access For All scheme makes it very difficult for rural stations like Staveley to get funding. It is awful that in 2022 we have a funding scheme that is effectively pitting disabled people in one community against another to decide who should be allowed to access their local train station.

“Every train station in our country should be made accessible for everyone – that would be real levelling up.”