Broken lifts at railway stations in Portsmouth and Havant leaves wheelchair user 'angry'

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A WHEELCHAIR user was left ‘angry and cross’ after being unable to access lifts in two railway stations for over two months.

Steven Kingsett, who lives on Moorings Way, Southsea, claims the lifts at Portsmouth and Southsea and Havant railway stations have not been working for roughly eight weeks.

A South Western Railway spokesperson said the elevator at Havant is still out of action, but the one at Portsmouth and Southsea has now been fixed.

Havant railway stationHavant railway station
Havant railway station

Steven said: ‘It’s absolutely disgraceful, quite honestly.’

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‘It’s disgusting what's going on. We’re talking about Christmas coming up, there's people who can’t walk very well, people with buggies and suitcases coming to Portsmouth.

‘[Portsmouth and Southsea] is one of the main stations in Portsmouth, that's what gets me so angry and cross.’

The accessibility issue impacted his travel plans during a recent trip to Somerset to visit his ‘seriously ill’ mother.

Steven, aged 58, said that after arriving back at his local station in Southsea, staff had to take him to Portsmouth Harbour and then to Fratton so that he could safely leave the train and station in his wheelchair.

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Steven said he then struggled to get home as he couldn't find a working cash machine to pay for a taxi and only managed to complete his journey after a bus driver took him back free of charge.

Mr Kingsett started using a wheelchair two years ago following a bicycle accident and a hospital visit during which he was found to have a ‘mystery illness’ but is still waiting for a diagnosis. He now suffers from a loss of mobility in his legs and numbness in his fingers.

He added: ‘I can just about wheel myself into the city centre. Being within four walls can drive you mad so I’ve got to push myself to go out.’

A spokesperson for South Western Rail said: ‘The lift in Havant had engineers attend on Monday – they were unable to repair it and have had to order parts which come from overseas.

‘This will unfortunately delay the lift coming back into operation as the repair can’t be made until the parts arrive.’