HS2

29.09.17

Competition to award £600,000 in grants to improve rail access

The DfT and the RSSB have launched a competition to improve the lives of those with disabilities who travel on the rail network.

The Rail Accessibility Competition offers grants of £25,000 to £150,000 to small- and medium-sized businesses, universities, charities, managers or train operating companies, whose innovations will help to make rail travel more enjoyable and easier for travellers with disabilities.

The competition follows the launch of the public consultation into the DfT’s draft Accessibility Action Plan in August, which aims to remove the barriers faced by people with disabilities when travelling.

The competition sees two themes as its focus: solutions to improve physical access at stations, whether that is in the station itself or to toilets, and innovations to improve access for those with less visible impairments such as sensory or cognitive.

Launching the new competition, rail minister Paul Maynard said: “In the accessibility action plan that we published last month I made clear my ambition. To ensure that people with physical and less visible disabilities have the same access as everyone else to transport and opportunities to travel. Whether or not you can go out can influence whether you feel lonely or depressed. It will also affect whether you can secure and maintain employment. 

“There have been many positive achievements made in the transport sector, including in rail. But barriers remain. If you have ideas for how to increase people’s confidence about using the rail network, you are in the right place and we want to hear from you!”

Currently only 1% of journeys made by people who have a disability include rail, compared to more than 5% of journeys made by those without a disability.

The Rail Delivery Group, whose aim is to make travelling independently by train as easy as possible for everybody, is confident that the rail industry is on track to meet its obligations under disability regulations by 2020, with 40 stations seeing the installation of lifts since 2015, delivering step-free access to over 80% of passengers.

The competition, which closes 30 November, will award a total of £600,000 in grants, and welcomes collaborative proposals from more than one organisation. Projects will be co-funded, with RSSB awarding grants of up to £150,000 and additional funding being sought from elsewhere – either from public or private sponsors.

For detail of how to enter the competition, click here

The countdown is on to get your entries in for this year’s UKRIA. Closing date is 9 October. ENTER NOW!

Comments

Andrew Gwilt   01/10/2017 at 01:07

I think that’s a good idea.

[email protected]   03/10/2017 at 20:09

Perhaps the best way would have been avoiding the increase in floor and step height contingent on the ridiculous underfloor-engined 125-replacement fleet currently in delivery. Its not as if we've got an ageing population, or are looking for reduced station dwell times, after all.

Andrew JG   03/10/2017 at 22:12

I agree with you [email protected]

Angela   04/10/2017 at 11:54

How about this for a novel idea, KEEP THE GUARD ON THE TRAIN

Alan   05/10/2017 at 12:14

I know, How about getting some staff on the train. They could help passengers, answer querries, check tickets, monitor safety at station stops, assist ther driver during any incidents and be a security check. We could call them...oh I don't know something security minded like say GUARDS.

Don   07/10/2017 at 11:29

Why? This should be a right in law not an add on!

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