A campaign to provide families, the elderly and disabled people with step-free access to Stoneleigh train station has been launched by a residents' association after concerns were raised by station users.

The Stoneleigh and Auriol Residents’ Association, led by borough councillor Hannah Dalton, are preparing a bid to South West Trains for the station renovations, which would cost about £2million.

Surrey Comet:

Hannah Dalton and Eber Kington with concerned residents

A petition has attracted up to 700 signatures - two-thirds of which are paper signatures - since it was launched in November from those who want to make the project - described as ‘my personal crusade’ by Coun Dalton - a reality.

Campaigners are calling for renovation work, which would start in 2019 at the earliest, to have an elevator installed underneath the central section of the platform, as well as extensive modification of the current layout.

Surrey Comet:

Parents with small children currently find accessing the station challenging

A South West Trains (SWT) spokesperson, 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. However, we are working hard to put that right and more than two thirds of our passengers now travel via fully accessible stations."

Coun Dalton said: "I know it’s a lot of money, but to date there has been public money identified for exactly this type of project.

"And we need to start putting pressure on South West Trains and the Department for Transport, because they’ve got the power to help.

"We’ve got to demonstrate there’s a genuine need and desire from the people for this, which I believe there is."

Surrey Comet:

Hannah Dalton's petition, launched in November, has already attracted 700 signatures

Coun Dalton explained the community of Stoneleigh and Auriol is ‘perfectly bisected’ by the rail line, so those who want to cross from one to the other must either climb a significant number of steps or walk through a ‘dark underpass with no CCTV’.

The SWT spokesperson added: "The Department for Transport’s Access for All Scheme provides funding for larger accessibility schemes and we are working closely with them to improve accessibility at even more stations across the network.

"Those using Stoneleigh station who are unable to access the platforms are currently offered a free taxi service to the nearest fully accessible station when they book travel assistance through our dedicated passenger assistance helpline."

Surrey Comet:

The biggest hurdle in the campaign is the high cost - which is due to the station being an ‘island station’; there is one central platform which serves two rail lines each side.

This means providing step-free access is more costly, and so other applicants across Surrey may be preferred.

The petition can be signed in shops on Stoneleigh Broadway, including Stoneleigh Community Library or online at www.ipetitions.com/petition/stoneleighstepfree