A train operator has responded to concerns raised about the accessibility of the planned new station in a village in the north of York.

A planning application for a train station in Haxby on the York–Scarborough line was submitted in February with support from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

It is hoped that the new station will make it easier for Haxby’s population to travel to and from York.

However, Flick Williams, a disability rights activist, has raised concerns over the station’s accessibility as there will be no station staff.

“For me as a wheelchair user, if I’m coming from the direction of York and I want to alight the train at the new Haxby station then basically I’m relying on the guard to help me do that as there’s no station staff,” she said.

“But then because I’m on the far side of the platform from where the car park and the bus service are, if I get off the train with the assistance of a guard and then find that lift out of order I’m completely stranded.”

Ms Williams added: “An unstaffed station is an inaccessible station for all those kinds of reasons.”

A spokesperson for TransPennine, which operates on the York–Scarborough line, said: “We want all our customers to have the confidence to travel, no matter their circumstances.

“All TransPennine Express trains have conductors onboard that can help customers, including using a ramp to board the train.

“This assistance can either be pre-booked or arranged at the time of departure.

“Customers requiring help through stations will be provided with an accessible taxi to the nearest staffed station at no additional cost to them.

“Network Rail also monitors the use of lifts and will respond should a fault occur.”

Cllr Andrew Hollyer, ward councillor for Haxby, said: “The operators are required by law to ensure services are accessible and like any journey from any other unstaffed station, the operator would be able to provide ramps and most modern trains now carry ramps the guards can deploy.

“Obviously we’ll all have seen unacceptable instances where travellers haven’t received the assistance they require, causing huge distress.

“Even the worry of whether assistance will be provided can be enough to put people off travelling and the industry must do better.

“However, as much as I would like to see more stations staffed this is a level above the current planning application, ultimately this needs wider government action to reverse the downward direction of travel on railway staffing levels.”