Disabled passengers across the UK are set to benefit from a £20m fund to improve accessibility at railway stations, the Transport Secretary has announced.
Grant Shapps says the enhancements, funded through the Access for All programme, will include new lifts, accessible toilets and customer information screens.
The announcement comes in the same week that a new government campaign launched to improve the journeys of disabled passengers on public transport.
‘Most accessible in the world’
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The ability to travel easily from A to B is an essential factor for our day to day lives – but is not the reality for everyone.
“I recognise that we have much more to do, which is why we’re making 124 train stations across the country more accessible – a key part of levelling-up access for disabled people to transport and opening up opportunities for all.
“This is just the start of a much more ambitious agenda. My goal is to go much further in the years ahead to help ensure that our country’s transport system becomes one of the most accessible in the world.”
The £20m fund is part of a wider package of £300m announced last year, which is providing step-free access at over 70 stations across the UK.
Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “Everyone using our rail network deserves platforms and toilets they can use and this £20 million investment to improve 124 railway stations across the country will make a huge difference to disabled people.
“This government is committed to levelling up the playing field and later this year we’ll launch a national strategy which will ensure disabled people have equal access to all spheres of life.”
This follows the launch of the it’s everyone’s journey campaign to highlight how everybody can play a part in making public transport inclusive.
James Taylor, Director of Strategy and Social Change at disability equality charity Scope, told The Railway Hub: “Scope are pleased to back the ‘It’s Everyone’s Journey’ campaign.
“Disabled people have a right to be treated fairly rather than like second class citizens when they use public transport.
“The negative attitudes and awkwardness many disabled people continue to experience when travelling need to be a thing of the past. We hope this campaign acts as a catalyst to address these issues so that disabled people can travel fairly.”
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