A NEW elevated platform is being constructed at Rodney Parade and access for wheelchair users in the Bisley Stand is to be reviewed following a complaint from the father of a cerebral palsy sufferer.

Steve Parrish, 56, and his son, Karl, 30, from Caldicot, are huge Newport Gwent Dragons fans and have been season ticket holders at Rodney Parade since 2003.

Last January, when the Dragons played Northampton in torrential conditions at Rodney Parade, Mr Parrish vowed to buy his son a season ticket in the more modern Bisley Stand, which was opened in 2011. They had been sitting in the North Terrace.

However, Mr Parrish said that when he enquired about purchasing a season ticket for his son in the Bisley Stand, he was told that they could not accommodate Karl.

He said: “Imagine my son’s face when I told him that – he’s sports mad. It was exclusion and discrimination.

“It was a bus shelter from Beirut on the North Terrace, a rickety ramp with astroturf. If someone in front stood up, you were not able to see the right-hand side of the ground. For the Blues game recently, we could not see the only try scored in the whole match.

“One of the players could break their neck, God forbid, but they wouldn’t have been put in the bus shelter; they would be looking through the glass window of a corporate box.”

He added: “But, I look forward to the new platform and it will be great for Karl and the other wheelchair users to see the whole of the pitch.

“The club also taking a look at access in the Bisley Stand would be a major step forward and would be absolutely fantastic.”

Mark Jones, head of operations at Rodney Parade, said that the new elevated platform in the North Terrace is being constructed in response to feedback from Mr Parrish.

He said: “The conversation with Steve started in October or November and we have been talking about a raised platform. This feedback has been crucial and it’s all been about Steve and Karl’s requirements.

“Work on this extended platform, which will protrude over the North Terrace steps, began yesterday. It’s a hatched area, with a 180 degree view, that will be eight feet above the floor.

“We imagine that it will be in place for our next home game against Stade Français on January 24.

“We really wanted to push this through for Steve and Karl, and we’re also looking at the back rows of the Bisley Stand for the future.

“Through meeting Steve, we’re more conscious of a more hospitable area for wheelchair users.”