A fed-up couple have criticised a "ridiculous" bridge to nowhere for disabled people which has a ramp on one side but not the other.

Josephine Mackenzie, who has steel rods in both legs, has to ditch her mobility scooter on the southern side of the footbridge over Millbrook Road West while her husband Colin carries the heavy vehicle up and down.

As a result, the 70-year-old from Freemantle says she cannot use Millbrook railway station.

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And the purgatory for disabled people looks set to continue.

Network Rail says it cannot build a ramp due to electrical equipment underneath the bridge and Southampton City Council is powerless to do anything about it as the railway company owns the land.

Colin, 65, described the situation as an 'accident waiting to happen', adding: "It's totally ridiculous - there is nothing else we can do and we feel really let down.

"We have to get two buses just to get from the city centre to Shirley."

Daily Echo: Collin and Josephine MaCkenzie stood at the side of the bridge  with a disabled rampThe steel rods in Josephine's legs make it difficult for her to climb stairs and walk long distances.

She said: “As it stands, Colin has to carry all our heavy shopping bags across the bridge then come back and carry my scooter up the stairs and across the bridge.

“We are not getting any younger and this can be a challenge. I then have to walk up the stairs rather than use my scooter.

“We don’t drive so we rely on public transport to get around – at the moment, Millbrook station is completely inaccessible to us, due to the lack of a ramp.

“This means we have to walk to Southampton Central just to get a train.”

Daily Echo: The bridge crosses Millbrook Road WestSouthampton City Council, which is responsible for the northern side of the bridge, said it has replaced two steps here over the summer to make this end fully accessible.

"We will continue to work with Network Rail to secure improved access on the south side of the footbridge," a council spokesman said.

Colin added: “I have tried contacting the council for them to address the issue but so far, I have had no luck at all.

“It's not just the disabled, there has also been no thought paid to cyclists. I have seen people carrying their bikes up and down.

“With me having to carry my wife’s heavy mobility scooter, it is an accident waiting to happen.”

The council's response

A spokesperson from Southampton City Council said: “Southampton City Council, in partnership with Balfour Beatty renovated the Millbrook footbridge during the summer holidays.

“These refurbishment works to the existing footbridge, maintain the availability of a key pedestrian route across Millbrook Road West.

“The works were essential to meet required safety standards.

“The previous southern side was entirely owned by Network Rail and they had the responsibility for its maintenance.  

"It had unfortunately become very unsafe leading to Network Rail removing the structure and replacing it with a set of steps as part of their new footbridge scheme over the railway at that time.” 

The council said that despite the Council’s requests for Network Rail to deliver a replacement new ramp, this was out of scope due to Network Rail’s delivery window and budget available.

The spokesperson continued: “Following results of underground investigations, it became clear that the area, underneath the bridge, is extremely clustered with utility apparatus. 

“The cost of relocating these services to be able to position the ramp was prohibitive.

 “Southampton City Council took advantage of the refurbishment opportunity to make the northern side accessible by removing the two steps at the bottom end of the Foundry Lane side ramp.

“This means that the northern-side allows for pram and cycle-wheeling access. We will continue to work with Network Rail to secure improved access on the south side of the footbridge.”

Network Rail's response

In response to the council and the Freemantle couple, a Network Rail spokesperson said: “We recognise there is more to do to make the railway more accessible for everyone.

"Unfortunately at Millbrook station, the installation of a ramp on the southern side of the footbridge is incredibly difficult due to the location of critical underground infrastructure.

“As always, we’re keen to work closely with our stakeholders and the wider community to explore a potential solution.”