Greater Anglia review after couple stranded at Manningtree station

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Emily Knight

Greater Anglia says it will immediately review its station procedures after a Suffolk couple faced spending the night stranded on a train platform.

Jacqui Miller, who's disabled, and her husband Michael from Brantham, had been on special day out and planned to return home late to Manningtree station in the evening on Tuesday 21 September.

They hadn't realised that the only lift at Manningtree station that they needed to use to leave the platform would be locked when staff left at 11pm.

Their train arrived after midnight and so they found no staff at the station, and no way to get to get to exit because the lift was closed.

Jacqui and Michael Miller returned from a special day out to find the lift locked at Manningtree Station

"I don't think they realise just the impact of not providing a basic thing like that, not just for me but for anyone who has any sort of disability, they're not providing a service, they have a lift and it's just not usable," Jacqui Miller said.

The lift at Manningtree station that was locked when the Millers returned from a day out

ITV News Anglia told Greater Anglia about the issue, and it has promised a rethink of lift closures.

Spokesperson, Juliette Maxam said, "It's a historic decision, but I'm pleased to say it's one that we are immediately reviewing."

"We want to make our railway as accessible as possible to everybody and that means lifts remaining open when the station is open," she said.

Juliette Maxam, Great Anglia spokesperson Credit: ITV Anglia

Campaigners say it's far too common for disabled passengers to experience access problems at stations.

Ian Cook runs a group, Step Free Access for All from his home in Flitwick, Bedfordshire.

He says the current situation around the country is simply not good enough.

"If you've only got one disabled person that uses the train on a regular basis then the stations should be step free and the trains should be step free, without doubt, it's discrimination, it's discrimination," Ian Cook said.

Step free access campaign, Ian Cook

The couple were saved from sleeping on the platform as they managed to get on the last train to Ipswich, from where a staff member arranged a taxi.

The Millers said without that option they'd have had to call the emergency services to help them get off the platform.

The experience had shaken their confidence in train travel, they said, and they want rail bosses to ensure disabled access is available at all stations, whatever time of the day.