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Rail passengers with reduced mobility across Britain will benefit from better access at stations thanks to a £300 million government investment.
Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani has announced that over the next five years journeys will be opened up across Britain as upgrades – including footbridges and lifts – make it easier for disabled passengers to travel on the UK’s rail network.
Several other stations will also see smaller scale improvements such as tactile paving on platform edges or adjustable ticket counters, to allow passengers with reduced mobility to travel with confidence.
The improvements at 73 stations will be funded as part of the Department for Transport’s Inclusive Transport Strategy, published in 2018. The funding will benefit those with health conditions or older people with impairments, along with people travelling with children, heavy luggage or shopping.
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 five years these newly accessible stations will open up routes across the country, helping us move closer to a transport sector that is truly accessible.”
Following nominations from the rail industry, stations were selected based on a range of criteria including footfall weighted by disability in the area, value for money, and local factors such as proximity to a hospital. The stations were also chosen to represent a fair geographical spread across the country.
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.
“This 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.”
This is a step towards the target set out in the Inclusive Transport Strategy to create a transport system that offers equal access by 2030 and to make travel easier for people with reduced mobility.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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