THIS WEEK IN 1989: Pensioners in protest over ‘nightmare’ railway footbridge

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Pensioners Lily Jones and Jessie Milne campaigned for an easier-to-use footbridge across a Portsmouth railway line.

They said the bridge between Greetham Street, Somers Town, and Bridport Street, Landport, was unsuitable for disabled and elderly people because of steep steps either end.

Mrs Milne, 80, said: ‘I have hip problems and Lily has heart trouble so climbing the steps is a real nightmare.

‘If you are in a wheelchair you can’t use it at all.

‘And what about young mums loaded up with prams and shopping?’ she added.

Mrs Milne and Mrs Jones, 74, both of Ladywood House, Plymouth Road, Landport, wanted British Rail to either build a new bridge with a wheelchair ramp or convert the one that was already there.

Their campaign was taken up by Labour councillor Brian Pope who said he was inundated with complaints about the bridge.

‘It’s ridiculous that those least able to walk are expected to use another walkway which adds half-a-mile to their journey,’ he said.

A spokesman for British Rail Southern Region said: ‘We try to give our customers the best travel service possible and there is little money left over to spend on bridges.’