Lifts at two train stations in Oxfordshire have been out of service, causing problems for the elderly, disabled and bike users.

Both lifts at Bicester North train station have been closed and in need of repairs for two weeks.

Additionally, one of the lifts at Bicester Village train station was out of order on Wednesday morning.

The stations’ platforms are connected via a bridge with stairs, meaning that when the lifts are out of order, bike users, the elderly, families with prams and disabled people struggle to get across to the other platform.

George Bennett, Chair of Bicester Bike Users Group, said: “Bicester is lucky enough to have two train stations, but when the lifts fail many passengers struggle or simply can’t use the trains.

“Sadly this week the lifts at Bicester North were out of order. I was there on Monday morning at peak commuting time. I witnessed at least one elderly passenger having to be helped with luggage.

“On Wednesday morning at Bicester Village train station one of the lifts was also out of order. There I saw at least 5 passengers having to carry their bikes up and down the stairs as a result.

“The need for step-free access for the elderly, bike users, families and the disabled is clear. With the London Road crossing set to close, the need for reliable access to all platforms is more important than ever.   

A spokesperson for Chiltern Railways said: “Unfortunately, we have recently experienced some issues with the lifts at Bicester North station.

“Rectifying this is an urgent priority for us. One lift is currently in operation while the station is staffed, which is a short-term measure while we work towards redirecting calls from the helpline in the lift to our control room, ensuring 24-hour coverage.

The second lift at Bicester North is undergoing repairs and will be back in operation as soon as possible.

“We have also recently experienced a brief outage of the lift at Bicester Village, but this was fixed the same day and now in full operation.”

Lift malfunctions seem to be a common occurrence at Bicester North. Just one month ago a lady named Sarah Whitlock had just dropped a friend at the station when the lift which goes to platform 2 came to a halt four feet above the ground.

After pressing the buzzer frantically, and being met with a notice that read ‘lift out of service’, Mrs Whitlock finally started shouting and was heard by chance by a member of the station staff who happened to take a walk over the footbridge.  

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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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