Farzana Rimi at Grangetown Station. Credit: Katherine Gray.

Mum living near Cardiff’s least accessible train station forced to take 20-minute detour

Work to make life easier for passengers with mobility problems has still not started – four years on

A MUM with a young daughter cannot use her local train station because of steep stairs leading to the platforms – four years after funding was secured to fix the problem.

Grangetown station was one of four stations across Wales identified in 2020 as needing work to create stair-free access. Work on the other three has been completed or is underway.

When Farzana Rimi, 30, has to drop her three-year-old daughter at nursery on her way to work, she often has to walk an extra 20 minutes to get the train from Cardiff Central.

“Yesterday I came back from my work and my daughter was with me, at that time there was no-one there to support me with the pram, my daughter was sleeping, and I felt helpless,” she said.

“What should I do? It was dark outside, my daughter was asleep in her pram, and no one was here to help me, it’s not good for us.”

Ms Rimi should be able to take the train directly from Grangetown to her place of work.

“I feel very irritated if I have limited time and obviously, I have a little daughter so I’m struggling to get her ready and if I cannot go use my local station then I have to go very far,” she said.

To access the station, passengers have to climb up a steep flight of steps which can be slippery in bad weather conditions. Once at the top both sides of the platform are accessible.

“Sometimes I go to the station alone and I always see many people who are struggling with buggies, old people, they cannot access the train station,” she said.

Ms Farzana Rimi at the bottom of Grangetown Station’s steep steps. Credit: Katherine Gray

Grangetown station was one of four in Wales granted money by the Department for Transport in 2020 to build stair-free access facilities under the Access for All Scheme.

In 2020, Joshua Reeves, a disability rights activist who lives close to Grangetown station, told The Cardiffian: “It’s good news that the station will receive funding, but I feel like we need to wait and see if it does happen, it feels like a foot stopper at the moment really.”

It is now the only one of these four stations where no work has begun. Work at Llantwit Major and Neath has been completed and work at Pontypool & New Inn has begun.

“We are currently working on an outline design for the installation of a lift at Grangetown, which we expect to receive by April 2024,” said a spokesperson for Network Rail.

“Construction on this project will then be taken forward subject to an announcement from the Department for Transport on Access for All funding.”

The Department for Transport has not yet provided a comment on why this work has taken so long and when the funding will be released.

What about other train stations in Cardiff?

Grangetown is the only station now categorised by Transport for Wales as C level, meaning it has no step-free access to either platform.

You can compare how different stations in Cardiff are rated for accessibility on the map below.

Cathays station is the level above — B3. Its platforms are linked by stairs which means that anyone who cannot use these has to go out of the station and cross the road at the nearest crossing between Corbett Street and Senghennydd Road.

There have also been many accidents at Cathays Station. One student, Matthew Curtis, was even found at the bottom of the steps after breaking his collarbone last year.

Coryton station, which is also B3 level, has access to the platform from Park Avenue via a ramp but there is no dropped kerb on the pavement. This means that wheelchair users traveling alone wouldn’t be able to use it.

Cardiff Central, Llandaff and Radyr all have the highest level — A. This means they have step-free access to all platforms at all times of the day.

  • If you need to book assisted travel with Transport for Wales you can here.