A CAMPAIGN calling for improved access at Abergavenny rail station has been handed a further boost after the county council pledged its support.

More than a thousand people have signed the online petition for the Abergavenny Rail Access Campaign, which proposes that a new bridge and stairlifts be built at the station.

Now Monmouthshire county councillors have followed town councillors in Abergavenny by calling for Network Rail to assess the situation.

In a motion put forward at full council on Thursday afternoon, Cllr Martyn Groucutt said: “It really is a disgrace, (Abergavenny is) the second busiest station in the old Gwent and so it’s a very heavily used station,” said the Lansdown member.

“It needs to come into the 20th century let alone the 21st century.

“The issue at stake is that there is no easy access to the platforms at the station for people who are elderly, infirm, having young children in pushchairs, or indeed if you’re carrying a heavy suitcase.”

The motion also congratulated the community for the “powerful” campaign while calling on Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales to “urgently” improve facilities.

Cllr Groucutt referred to work carried out by Network Rail earlier this year to repair the footbridge at the station but claimed that the company had “made no attempt” to address accessibility issues during the work.

The Labour councillor added that money had been previously put aside by the Welsh Government to redevelop the station but “nothing had happened”.

Across the chamber the motion received vocal support from Conservative councillors Giles Howard (Llanfoist Fawr) and Sheila Woodhouse (Grofield) before it was carried.

Network Rail say they are committed to working with funders such as the Welsh Government and the Department for Transport (DfT) explore improvement opportunities.

“Unfortunately there are a number of stations across the country which were built many years ago with little consideration of accessibility,” a spokeswoman said.

“DfT has a dedicated fund, known as ‘Access for All’ which is used to make improvements at stations.

The decision about which schemes receive funding is made by the DfT with the support of Network Rail and train operation companies.

“This process considers a number of factors including current access arrangements, passenger numbers and feedback from local stakeholders.

“The present fund for the period 2014 – 2019 is fully allocated, but new funding for additional schemes may be made available from funders and - should this happen - we would be delighted to work to investigate the development of improvements.”