Removing Mk2 steering column

  1. My model of MX-5 is: Mk2 1600
  2. I’m based near: __Egham
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: __Removing Steering column

Hi, can anyone suggest how to split the steering column from the steering rack. I’ve removed the pinch bolt but the splined shaft is rusty and the shaft will not come out. I’ve tried opening the pinch gap with a screwdriver but access is not easy. I’m reluctant to use heat given how close this is to the fuel line. I’ve reached the point of considering angle grinding through the shaft - there must be a better way!
Grateful for any suggestions