GLASGOW disability campaigners have hit out as it emerged fewer than half of all railway stations in the city are fully accessible.

An investigation by the Evening Times found only 26 out of the 59 stations in Glasgow had complete step-free access.

Meanwhile, a shocking 23 stations – around 39% – had no disabled access at all.

The remaining 10 stops had partial access – including stations where only one of two platforms had step-free access.

It’s feared the lack of access means disabled people in the city are being stopped from accessing work and social opportunities.

READ MORE: Every Glasgow railway station mapped out amid disabled accessibility row

Marianne Scobie, deputy CEO of Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA), said: “This research into the inaccessibility of Glasgow’s transport system does not come as a surprise to GDA as this is something that disabled people in Glasgow tell us on a daily basis. 

“Getting around the city is difficult, time-consuming and often impossible for some. 

“Without accessible and affordable transport, disabled people are unable to participate in the life of the city and are prevented from accessing social, educational, volunteering and employment opportunities like any other citizen.”

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Transport Scotland chiefs say they want disabled people to travel with the same “freedom, choice, dignity and opportunity as other citizens”.

ScotRail’s current policy means disabled passengers are urged to get in touch at least two hours in advance of travel to receive the necessary assistance. 

In April, the Department for Transport announced 73 stations across the UK would benefit from funding for upgrades to provide an accessible route into the station and between every platform.

Anniesland was the only station in Glasgow selected for funding.

The number of accessible stations decreases even further when you go south of the River Clyde.

There, 12 stations out of 24 – including both at Pollokshields and Pollokshaws – are no-go areas for disabled users.

Campaigners have called for better public transport ahead of the launch of low-emission zones.

Ms Scobie added: “While GDA supports environmental concerns, the drive towards low-emission zones and carbon reduction seems faster than the drive to make the city more accessible for all.

“However, one cannot be achieved without the other; public transport needs to be accessible to reduce emissions and ensure that more people use it to get around the city.”

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A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Our vision is that all disabled people can travel with the same freedom, choice, dignity and opportunity as other citizens.  

“When making decisions about which stations to improve, we prioritise in terms of need and available budgets across the whole of Scotland, not just in one particular city or region. 

“Rail accessibility is a UK Government reserved matter and we work closely with the Department for Transport to agree our priorities. 

“Over the course of the next rail funding period (2019-2024) we’ll deliver step-free access at Anniesland, Croy, Dumfries, Johnstone, Port Glasgow and Uddingston. 

“Where there is no disabled access at a particular station, passengers can make arrangements with ScotRail for taxi transportation to and from the nearest manned station.”

CASE STUDY: 'Frustrating' Glasgow train stations 'need to improve'

GLASGOW stations should copy their European counterparts and raise platforms to increase accessibility, according to a disabled man who regularly visits the city.

Connor McQuade, 32, from Dumbarton, travels to Glasgow every couple of weeks, but admits the lack of open stations in the city makes it “frustrating”.

Connor, who has spina bifida, believes the renovations at Queen Street “missed an opportunity” by not raising the platforms. 

Glasgow Times: Connor McQuadeConnor McQuade

“They have them in parts of London, Barcelona, Madrid and Berlin, and it’s done so well – with platforms like that you can just roll on and off,” he said. 

“I feel like it’s really frustrating to have to book ahead. It used to be 24-hours’ notice you had to give them, so it’s good that it’s now down to two hours.  

"They’re making efforts, but it’s still not perfect.

“You also are told to arrive 20 minutes before travel, which can be a hassle for sure.

“It’s worse for people at unstaffed trains, that’s often a problem.

“I imagine it must be very frustrating for people in the South Side – I’m lucky because I often travel to Queen Street. 

Glasgow Times: Connor McQuade says more needs to be doneConnor McQuade says more needs to be done

“Things have improved, but I do still worry sometimes – it’s very hard to be spontaneous.”

Connor added: “If we are committed to increasing public transport then it has to be improved and more accessible.

“It shouldn’t take much to make such a vital change to so many people.

“If we’re keen to reduce emissions with a focus on public transport, it needs to be for everyone.”

COMMENT: Transport must be open for all

WE are in the midst of a climate crisis. Never have we been more strongly told to ditch the car and take up public transport instead. 

And that would be a fair point, for most of us. 

I’m fortunate. The two-dozen steps at Pollokshields East station don’t even put me out of breath. But to others, like my disabled brother David, those steps are a mountain.

Rail transport is essentially a no-go. 

Glasgow Times: My brother David Aitchison, who uses a wheelchair, is unable to visit me by trainMy brother David Aitchison, who uses a wheelchair, is unable to visit me by train

The lack of accessible stations in the South Side is one of the key reasons he hasn’t visited my flat yet – despite the fact I’ve been there for three months.

Even at accessible stations, ScotRail says people with disabilities are urged to call two hours ahead so the relevant procedures can be put in place.

How silly of me to forget – disabled people aren’t allowed to be spontaneous. There’s one rule of life for “us” and another for “them”.

It’s great to throw our support behind low-emission zones and make the city an even greener place – but we have to remember who we’re leaving behind.

If Glasgow really wants to make a difference, then give us the public transport the city – and ALL of its residents – deserves.