Access Statement

This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all our guests/visitors.

Download this access statement in PDF format here.

Access Statement for Apedale Valley Light Railway

Issue 3 June 2016

 

Introduction

The Apedale Valley Light Railway offers a ride on a narrow gauge train alongside the Apedale Community Country Park. Visitors travel behind historic steam or diesel locomotives in carriages of the type which would have carried workers around quarries and factories. We provide level access to the station platform, and a ramp is available to assist wheelchair users in boarding the train.

We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 0845 094 1953, email info@mrt.org.uk or contact us via the Apedale Valley Light Railway Facebook page.

Pre-Arrival

  • For full details of how to find us, visit www.avlr.org.uk. If arriving by car, approach us through Apedale Community Country Park, off Loomer Road, Chesterton, Staffordshire. Sat Nav users will find ST5 7LB is a point near the park entrance – carry on through the park.
  • Car parks are maintained by Staffordshire County Council.
  • Visitors with limited mobility can park in an area with level access to the Railway.
  • The nearest main line railway station is Longport. However, facilities here are very limited. We therefore recommend using Stoke on Trent station or Kidsgrove station.
  • Chesterton Village is served by bus routes 4 and 4A from Hanley. These are operated by First. The 4A route continues to Kidsgrove Town Hall, a short distance from Kidsgrove station. This is the simplest means of reaching Apedale from a railway station. There is no direct bus route from Stoke station to Chesterton; it is recommended that one catches a (frequent) bus to Hanley, and then the 4 or 4A as above. One should alight in the centre of Chesterton Village, on London Road, from which it is approx. one mile to the railway. Bus information can be found at
    www.stokebus.info. Train information can be found at www.nationalrail.co.uk

Car Parking and Arrival

  • There are two main car parks in the Park adjacent to the railway. One of these is at a higher elevation than the railway, so a ramp leads down to the level of the railway.
  • Visitors with limited mobility can park in an area with level access to the Railway.
  • All car parks are free
  • There is level access to the railway; a shallow angle ramp leads onto the platform. This is our main station, known as Silverdale Station.

 

The railway has a small additional station known as Apedale Road. This station is described in a separate section below.

Main Entrance, Reception and Ticketing Area – Silverdale station

  • The visitor arrives onto the station platform, which is level with a tactile edge.
  • Tickets and souvenirs are bought from the Shop. Double doors lead from the platform into the shop.
  • There is a 3 1/2″ (85mm) step up from the platform to the shop.
  • There is ample access within the shop for wheelchairs etc.
  • We do not have a lowered section of the shop counter.
  • We do not have an inductive loop system.
Entrance to Shop. Arrow indicates step up.

Entrance to Shop. Arrow indicates step up.

Attraction (displays, exhibits, rides etc.)

  • There is a step up to board the train, with which those of limited mobility may have difficulty.
  • We have a ramp available to allow wheelchair users to board the train. The ramp angle is quite steep, and we recommend that two persons are required to assist a wheelchair on or off the train. Our staff are willing and
    able to assist as required.
  • We have a loan wheelchair available to assist individuals who may feel unable to board the train.
  • The train can convey two wheelchair users at a time.
  • We are not able to convey powered wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
  • Please note that our trains, especially the steam trains, can make loud and sudden noises which can alarm or startle some visitors.
Wheelchair ramp in use.

Wheelchair ramp in use.

Ticket Policy

As we are a charity, and our train fares are very cheap, we are unable to offer specific discounts for the disabled. Similarly, those caring for the disabled will be required to purchase tickets for their journey.

Public Toilets

  • An accessible toilet is provided by our colleagues at the Apedale Heritage Centre. This is adjacent to the Railway. Please note that on some days the Heritage Centre may close before the end of train services. Please contact us or speak with shop staff if that is a concern.

Apedale Road station

For the 2014 season and onwards, a small station has been opened at the opposite end of the railway to the main entrance. This small station is known as Apedale Road.

  • Station is accessed via a gate from Apedale Road.
  • There is a path leading to the platform, with a ramp leading onto the platform. The path may present some difficulties for wheelchair users, as it is not hard surfaced.

 

We do not normally carry the wheelchair ramp on the train, due to space issues, and also because most wheelchair users join and alight from the train at the main entrance. Therefore:-

  • Should a wheelchair user wish to JOIN the train at Apedale Road, please advise us by telephone. Phone numbers are displayed at Apedale Road station.
  • Should a wheelchair user wish to ALIGHT from the train at Apedale Road, please tell the Guard; arrangements will then be made to convey the ramp on the train.

Additional Information

This access statement describes access to the facilities available on a standard operating day. On special events and galas, we allow access to areas of the site which are not otherwise available to the public. These are industrial working areas, and are not specifically designed with accessibility in mind. However, the vast majority of the site offers level access (albeit with unpaved paths) and experience has shown that wheelchair users are able to access virtually the entire site. We are always pleased to assist; if anyone with mobility issues has any specific requirements for a visit, please get in touch and we can normally make specific arrangements to assist.

Future Plans

We are currently developing a major museum project on site. This will tell the story of industrial narrow gauge railways – a vital part of the nation’s infrastructure and industrial heritage, and a story almost completely hidden from the general public. As a new building, this will be designed to be fully inclusive, and to meet the needs of every visitor, regardless of any mobility or other issues which the visitor may have.

Contact Information

Address (Inc postcode):

  • Site Location:- Apedale Valley Light Railway,Loomer Road, Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs ST5 7LB.
  • Address for correspondence:- Moseley Railway Trust, 11 Ashwood Road, Disley, Stockport SK12 2EL

Telephone: 0845 094 1953

Email: info@mrt.org.uk

Website: www.avlr.org.uk

Grid Reference: SJ 823 484

Usual Hours Of Operation: 1130 to 1600

Local Accessible Taxi: See:- http://www.autocabprivatehire.co.uk/wheelchair-taxi-stokeontrent.php
or http://www.zcarzstoke.co.uk/.

Local Public Transport: Bus information can be found at www.stokebus.info. Train information can be found at www.nationalrail.co.uk