The government have announced that 73 railway stations across the UK will see themselves upgraded to improve accessibility after an investment of £300 million into the transport network.
The Inclusive Transport Strategy, which was published in July of last year, outlined the scheme, which will see the Department for Transport move towards its aim of delivering step-free routes in over 200 stations and smaller improvements in another 1,500 stations as part of their Access for All programme.
These smaller improvements will be equally as helpful for disabled people, including the installation of accessible toilets, platform humps to reduce stepping distances, and improvements which will make using these stations easier for people who live with visual or hearing impairments.
Keith Richards, chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, said: “The Access for All programme has already delivered significant improvements in access to rail travel for disabled people over the last 13 years. It’s crucial to continually build on that.
“The announcement is very welcome and must go hand-in-hand with clear and practical information to ensure that disabled people are aware of what improvements have been made, and that more travel options are now possible as a result.
“We are working with the government to deliver a commitment to accelerate improvements, to target the funding effectively, and to monitor and assess outcomes.”
These works will see improvements made to stations both large and small, including Liverpool Central, which is the 28th most used railway station in the UK, and Croy station north of Glasgow, which is a vital station on the Glasgow to Edinburgh line, Scotland’s busiest.
Transport accessibility minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Transport is vital for connecting people with work, friends and family, but also to enable them to enjoy visiting some of the wonderful cultural, historical and natural sites across the UK.
“We want the 13.9 million disabled people in Britain to be empowered to travel independently, which is why I am delighted to announce this roll out of upgrades across the rail network.
“Over the next 5 years these newly accessible stations will open up routes across the country, helping us move closer to a transport sector that is truly accessible.”Get your copy of PosAbility Magazine