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Network Rail opened the latest Changing Places facility at Leeds railway station on Monday the 19th of July 2021.
A Changing Places facility is a toilet for people with profound and multiple disabilities and will help make travel on the railway much more accessible.
The new facility is hoped to offer confidence in rail travel to over 250,000 people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.
The Changing Places facility is different from a standard accessible toilet because it includes an adult size, height adjustable changing bench along with an integrated hoist system, and plenty of space for a disabled person and up to two carers. The facility has been registered by the Changing Places Consortium.
Along with the new facility, Leeds station has also added a new accessible toilet on platform zero, and there are also plans underway to open a new accessible lounge and bring back seating which was removed due to social distancing measures.
Credit: Network Rail
Monday the 19th of July was the official opening of the facility which also coincided with the 15th anniversary of the Changing Places Consortium campaign in partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK.
The Changing Places Campaign works to raise awareness of the desperate need for accessible Changing Place toilets throughout the UK to allow 1/4 of a million people across the UK the basic facilities to allow them to enjoy day-to-day activities.
The Changing Places facility at Leeds station can be found on the main concourse next to the current male, female and accessible toilets that were recently upgraded as part of the Leeds station improvements scheme.
Maxine Joicey, Station Customer Experience Manager for Network Rail, said: “It’s important that all of our passengers are able to travel with confidence through the station, so we’re delighted to open the new facility which will give those who have limited mobility the space and equipment they need.
“We’re lucky to be located in a city which is leading the way in accessibility and we’re committed to creating an inclusive environment at the station. We hope to achieve this by providing disability awareness training to the station team this month and opening a new accessible lounge in the longer term.”
Karen Hoe, Changing Places manager for Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, said:
“We are delighted to see this new Changing Places Toilet now open in Leeds enabling the wider community the opportunity travel and access these vital facilities on their journey.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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