The Community Heritage Centre and Mountsorrel station are both new-build and access for less-able visitors has been a major consideration during their planning. However, heritage railway vehicles, by their very nature, were built in less enlightened times when access was not designed for people with mobility issues. The Great Central Railway, which operates the trains on the railway, are constantly striving to improve access to their trains but, in the interim, some restrictions may apply. To assist you in getting the best access to the Heritage Centre, stations and trains we have shown below what you may expect from your visit and possible restrictions.
Parking your car and getting to the Heritage Centre or station platforms.
For blue-badge holders designated disabled parking spaces exist at both the Heritage Centre and Mountsorrel station. There is level access to the Heritage Centre and associated Granite’s coffee shop at Nunckley Hill. However, to get to the trains and to the planned museum and exhibition building, in the base of Nunckley Quarry, you will need to descend down a bank. With this in mind a path has been incorporated into the design that has wheelchair user-friendly gradients.
Mountsorrel station is in a steep cutting. There is kerb-free access to the inclined ramp that leads down to the platform. The gradient of the ramp is 1:15 with regular level sections where wheelchair users (or their assistants!) can take a rest, if necessary.
Both of the paths mentioned above are of concrete or similar hard surface and should give a good surface for wheelchair-users.
The Heritage Centre
The Heritage Centre tells the story of both Mountsorrel’s and Rothley’s village history. Although the Heritage Centre will be partly ‘new build’, this will only be to unify elements of much older buildings that will be incorporated into the fabric of the new structure. Nevertheless, every care has been taken to make the centre as accessible as possible.
Exhibitions are over two floors at the Heritage Centre. The lower floor is on the level and the upper floor is accessible via a lift. There are no internal steps on either level.
The Heritage Centre site is accessible not only for those who are in wheelchairs, but also those with sight, hearing, learning and other physical difficulties. The Heritage Centre has a “Quiet Room” on the first floor accessible by lift, for the use of visitors who, through illness, infirmity or disability find it difficult to have a day out because it can be over-tiring. Our aim is to provide a comfortable room where these visitors can go to rest or administer their medication. The Centre will not be providing medical facilities.
Granite’s coffee shop has wheelchair-friendly access. Tables are intended for use by all wheelchair users but this may not be possible for some larger, non-standard wheelchairs. If you encounter a problem, our friendly staff will make every effort to ensure you are looked after.
The Nunckley Trail
The trail is a half-mile path which passes by many ecologically interesting areas. There are illustrated notices around the trail that point out items of interest. Visually impaired visitors will find shorter messages in Braille at the bottom right-hand corner of the notice boards. There are tapping logs at the side of the path along the whole length of the trail.
The nature trail is wood bark and chippings and is, therefore, not an ideal surface for an independent wheelchair-using visitor to push on. We very much recommend that wheelchair users have an assistant to help them with this surface.
The path includes sensory and tactile areas, a discovery area for children and adults with special needs, wild flowers, shelters and seating, a willow tunnel and a picnic area.
Getting on the train
Both stations and trains carry portable ramps for safe access by wheelchair. If the stations are unmanned, assistance should be sought from the train staff.
Some trains have specific less-able accommodation, but not all. It is advised that a call to the Great Central Railway (01509 632323) should be made to enquire whether trains operating that day carry this facility. Ambulant disabled people should be able to access the rest of the train via ramped wheelchair access into the guards van. The heritage railway carriages have narrow aisles and corridors, so wheelchair access is not possible along the train.
Disabled toilets can be found at the Heritage Centre. There are no toilet facilities at Mountsorrel station.
Apart from the specific coach for disabled people, there are no disabled toilet facilities on trains.
Please take care when on or around our stations. The platform edge is picked out by a white line and there are tactile surfaces on the platforms. Station staff will be happy to assist if needed.
We will be happy to accommodate parties of less-able visitors, but advance notice will be necessary to arrange parking, access and the necessary rolling stock. Please contact the Heritage Centre to initiate the necessary arrangements.