Latest Rail News


Putting accessible and inclusive transport at the heart of HS2

Charlotte Hughes, director of external relations at the Community Transport Association, invites HS2 to work together with communities in order to put accessibility and inclusivity at the heart of the infrastructure project.

It is hard not to be impressed and excited with the key facts about HS2:

  • “We haven’t built a new railway north of London for over 120 years”
  • “HS2 will link 8 of Britain’s 10 largest cities, serving 1 in 5 of the UK population”

David Higgins said that “HS2 must also help change the way we deliver infrastructure in this country so we can reap the benefits for future projects”.

For the Community Transport Association (CTA) members’ end service users, it is not simply a seat to street journey – it’s sometimes ‘how do I get out of the house, and who can help me do this?’

We want to work with major infrastructure projects like HS2 because today, in 2016, a high percentage of passengers encounter barriers to entering a station, buying a ticket or boarding a train or bus – which, if you are not living with a disability, under 65, and in employment, you will probably take for granted as part of your everyday life.

Innovation and inspiration over future design, shared spaces or problem solving around accessibility needs is rarely taken to those people who use those services daily. For too long transport and infrastructure decisions have been made with little or no consultation with those sections of society who fear its use or see it as inaccessible.

Our organisation, the CTA, is a national charity working to highlight the work of its 1,700 members across the UK and to bring attention to the need to support Accessible and Inclusive Transport solutions. We are not here to pass judgement on the work of HS2; we would like to work with them to bring together partners from the accessible and inclusive sector, ensuring engagement with local communities and dialogue at the beginning and throughout major project developments.

We are starting to be heard. We were invited to meet David Cameron, with 12 of our members, to a reception at Number 10 thanking us for our members’ work to ‘Keep Britain Moving’, joined on the day with commercial partners Hitachi, Virgin Trains East Coast and Arriva. It’s great to see the government committed to accessibility.

Our message to HS2 is that we would like to agree some principles which could be at the heart of future infrastructure and technological developments. David Higgins’ vision for ‘Changing Britain’ is balanced with the many social benefits of community-based engagement and shared transport experiences.

Our Westminster conference is on 22 November and is being supported by the Institution of Civil Engineers, with Andrew Jones MP as our keynote speaker. We would invite commercial partners to attend, exhibit and speak to our members about how they can work together, which we hope is the first step to changing Britain for the better.




There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

Most Read

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >