A member of Furness Line Action Group (FLAG) has called for open access to a railway crossing – and believes it would save money spent on other measures to make the train station more accessible.

Robert Parker of FLAG expressed frustration at the fact that a barrow crossing once openly accessed by the public at Ulverston has been relegated to a booking system, making it harder for those with disabilities, wheelchairs and prams to cross platforms.

According to Mr Parker, the way that the crossing could be accessed was changed in 2009 over safety fears.

The barrow crossing is now gated and can only be used by booking in advance so that a member of railway staff can escort the user across the track safely.

During the past three years, about 500 bookings have been made but there have been many occasions when passengers have asked for assistance on the day.

Mr Parker said: "My FLAG colleagues and I just can't understand why they closed the crossing at Ulverston.

"We have come up with all sorts of suggestions but if you are disabled or need access and you want to get a train from Ulverston, it is probably easier to get a taxi to Dalton.

"It was once open all the time, there was no gate there.

"People could just cross at their own accord; if a person was crossing the track to get a train to Carnforth, 99 times out of 100 there will be nothing there.

"On occasion there could be a train coming through from Carnforth to Barrow, but every single train stops at Ulverston so if you decided to go across the level crossing just as the train started to move the driver would blow his horn and you would stop and let the train go past.

"I have used Ulverston station many times and I have been there when the train is about to start and they've blown their horn; people were only held back by a minute and then they could cross.

"Would you close the zebra crossings in case someone steps out in front of a bus?

"It is common sense.

"It was never needed to shut the barrow crossing."

A study will launch this month to assess how feasible it is to transform the access to and from the eastbound platform and improve passenger waiting areas to create a welcoming inclusive experience for all.

It is hoped the study’s findings will pave the way for a funding bid to the DfT's Access For All programme.

Network Rail have been contacted for a response.