STIRLING railway station is now fully accessible following an eleven-year battle by campaigners.

On Monday, September 9, a lift was unveiled after Network Rail and Transport Scotland carried out £4million worth of works to raise the existing footbridge and install the lift.

Meetings have taken place over a number of years between various parties, no more so than Alloa Community Council.

Previously, both Platform 9 and 10 could only be accessed via a staircase and footbridge, meaning those with mobility issues or even those carrying heavy items or pushing a pram would find getting to their train difficult, if not impossible.

Train services to and from Alloa regularly go through Platform 9 and on some occasions Clacks commuters had been left stranded until someone was able to assist them.

Monday's unveiling means the station is now fully accessible for everyone, and marks the end of a long struggle between campaigners and authorities.

Cameron Little, transport minister at Alloa CC, was on hand and heralded the day as an important one for the Wee County.

He told the Advertiser: "After nearly eleven years of campaigning a lift is now available on Platform 9/10 at Stirling station.

"Our involvement in this long-running saga began when my wife, with my granddaughter then just over two years old, and in her pushchair, arrived at Platform 9 at Stirling from the Alloa train and had great difficulty accessing the station exit.

"In November 2008, Alloa Community Council made initial representations to ScotRail.

"I had many meetings over the years with representatives from Network Rail, Transport Scotland, government representatives and Stirling Council's planning department.

"In May 2018, Network Rail applied for planning permission to provide step free access to Platform 9/10 and under strict planning conditions and requirements they obtained permission for access improvements to the station and now we have that result."

Although Cameron took the lead on the campaigning, he wished to thank a number of people for their contributions.

He said: "I would like to thank everyone who has been involved with this project from Network Rail, Transport Scotland and government representatives.

"I would like to extend a personal thank you to Alexander Stewart MSP; Dr Richard Simpson, former MSP; Gordon Banks, former MP; and both Iain Smith and Mark Connor of the Alloa Advertiser who presented our campaign to a much wider audience and made a valuable contribution to our eventual success.

"It has taken much longer than I ever imagined, but I am sure that many people will now benefit from the new facility on Platform 9/10."

Conservative MSP Alexander Stewart was delighted to see the lift in operation having been involved for the last few years.

He added: "I was delighted to lend my assistance to Mr Little and to do all I could in ensuring this essential project regained momentum.

"For all our local residents and visitors with disabilities, mobility issues, as well as with young people in prams, pushchairs and buggies, this is a fantastic thing to have happened.

"I am truly delighted to come along today and see the fruit of our endeavours, but for the people who use and rely on the station on a daily basis and who deserved better than what they had to endure – there was no need for it to have gone on for so long."

The lift was officially opened by MSP Keith Brown and Bruce Crawford, with an informal ribbon cutting ceremony on the platform.