MAINTAINING disabled access at Inverclyde railway stations must be a 'constant priority' for network operators, an MSP has stressed - after it was revealed that a new lift was out of action for more than three weeks soon after it was installed.

Elevators were recently put in at Port Glasgow station to provide step-free access to and from each platform, however, one was left out of use to the public just weeks later.

The accessibility revamp of the station, including a new footbridge and ramps, was completed at the end of 2023 following months of work as part of a £5 million renovation project.

ScotRail confirmed that the lift at platform two was out of action for 23 days between December 11 and January 2. They blamed a problem with drainage during heavy rain, saying that this led to a control panel being damaged.

READ MORENew lift at Port station out of action weeks after official opening of £5m upgrade

A fault was also reported with the lift at platform one on December 6, but that was repaired the same day.

Labour MSP Paul O'Kane, who pressed ScotRail and Network Rail - responsible for the installation and maintenance of lifts - on the figures, says broken lifts are an 'undeniable barrier' for disabled passengers.

He said: “It’s essential that anyone can access a train station without restrictions, and the installation of bridges and lifts at stations play a huge part in achieving that – but they have to work.

“Disabled Scots depend on those lifts to be working, and when they aren’t they become an undeniable barrier and a disruption to straightforward travel arrangements.

“I would urge Network Rail and ScotRail to view lift maintenance and lift access as a constant priority.”