A Heanor councillor is pressing the case for investment at Langley Mill station as part of a wider transit plan around Ilkeston’s new rail terminal.
Derbyshire county councillor Paul Jones has joined with Broxtowe borough councillor Richard Robinson in a call for more funding and upgrades to the area’s transport links.
Coun Jones said: “We all welcome the proposed opening of Ilkeston railway station on Sunday April 2, after many years of local campaigning.
“However that should not jeopardise train services running to and from Langley Mill - used by residents of Heanor, Langley Mill, Loscoe, Codnor and Eastwood - which should benefit from modernisation and investment in the near future.”
In a joint statement, the councillors welcome the possibility that Ilkeston’s station may help to relieve congestion around the A610, along with potential HS2 and Nottingham tram developments.
But they point out that Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills has recently been vocal in his support for improvements to Alfreton station, particularly on step-free access to the platforms.
Coun Jones added: “We feel he should do the same for Langley Mill as a matter of urgency.
“It’s extremely difficult for disabled passengers on southbound trains to exit the station. Some have had to go to Nottingham and get on a train to return to Langley Mill’s other platform.”
The councillors’ claims have also been put to station managers at East Midlands Trains.
A spokesman for the company said:“Most of the rail network was built many generations ago when the needs of passengers with reduced mobility were regrettably not taken into account.
“We are working hard to put that right and invest every year to improve accessibility at stations across our network.
“The Department for Transport’s Access for All Scheme provides funding for larger accessibility schemes.”
He added: “At the moment, customers using Langley Mill station who are unable to access the platforms are offered a free taxi service to their nearest alternative station if they request travel assistance through our passenger assistance helpline. Ilkeston station will be fully accessible once it is open.”
Coun Jones also called on Mr Mills to support pressure on train operators over increasing the number of trains stopping at Langley Mill.
Between 2011/12 and 2015/16 passenger numbers on the line have risen from 93,858 to 115,686 - a 23 per cent increase.
Coun Jones said: “We must build on this and ensure that the community served by Langley Mill train station is not forgotten.
“This also includes improving the car parking for those using the service and relieving the issues on and around Milnhay Road.”
East Midlands Trains’ spokesman responded: “We will continue to work alongside rail partners and local stakeholders to ensure that suitable investment is made across the network to deliver the best service possible for our customers, particularly with the growth of passenger numbers in recent years.”
Older and disabled passengers can book their free assistance taxi by calling 08000 113323 or visiting http://bit.ly/2lOdUnQ.