Civils and stations

08.07.19

Disabled rail passengers set to benefit from £20m accessibility fund

Disabled rail passengers across the UK are set to benefit from a raft of accessibility improvements following the opening of a £20m government fund on 8 July.

This fund is open for applications from stations in need of accessibility improvements, leading to small-scale enhancements such as tactile paving or handrails.

The fund’s opening came a year after the launch of the Inclusive Transport Strategy, the government’s flagship accessibility programme.

READ MORE: £300m inclusion scheme in the works to make transport accessible by 2030

Within the last 12 months, the programme has seen the introduction of the first ever impartial, independent Rail Ombudsman and the launch of a £2m fund to bring Changing Places accessible toilets to more motorway service areas.

Last month, guidance was issued to local authorities in England for extending the Blue Badge scheme, making it easier for people with non-visible disabilities to travel.

Nusrat Ghani, accessibility minister, said: “While many take for granted the ability to travel easily from A to B, access for the fifth of people who identify as disabled can be far from straightforward.

“We want disabled people to travel easily, confidently and without extra cost, which is why it is fantastic to be opening this fund today.

“I look forward to seeing what ideas the industry has for accessibility improvements as we work towards a more inclusive rail network.

“The £20m fund will be open for applications from stations in need of accessibility improvements, leading to small-scale enhancements such as tactile paving, handrails and Harrington Humps, which increase platform heights.

“Taken together, these improvements will open up journeys for disabled passengers, allowing them to travel with confidence.”

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