Pete Donnelly going down steps at Queenstown Road (Battersea) station which is inaccessible

Britain’s railway stations ‘will not be step-free until 2070’

Pete Donnelly going down steps at Queenstown Road (Battersea) station which is inaccessible
Pete Donnelly from Leonard Cheshire, pictured at Queenstown Road (Battersea) station which is inaccessible. Photo: Leonard Cheshire.

A target to make Britain’s railway stations fully accessible by 2030 is set to be missed by 40 years, according to a disability charity.

Leonard Cheshire claimed all stations will not be step-free until 2070 if the current rate of enhancement work continues.

It warned that inaccessible stations are stopping people such as wheelchair users from travelling by train.

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In July 2018, the Government published an inclusive transport strategy with a commitment to make services “fully accessible for all passengers by 2030”.

Out of the 2,579 stations in Britain, around 980 are not step-free.

Leonard Cheshire research.

But research by Leonard Cheshire found that step-free work is only being completed at 19 stations per year. Out of the 2,579 stations in Britain, around 980 are not step-free.

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What have Leonard Cheshire found?

  • Research by disability charity Leonard Cheshire confirms that 38% of train stations across Great Britain still do not have full step-free access.
  • The government will miss 2030 target to make end to end journeys step-free by 40 years (2070) at current average rate of completion.
  • Leonard Cheshire are calling for a new law that guarantees all rail journeys in Britain will be fully accessible by 2030.

Leonard Cheshire chief executive Neil Heslop said: “This is a timely reminder that our current rail network often excludes disabled people from making journeys others take for granted.

“As families look to enjoy the festive season together, accessibility issues will add unnecessary stress to disabled travellers who negotiate a substandard network every day.

“We call on Boris Johnson to prioritise the acceleration of Access for All, so disabled people can enjoy the life opportunities provided through modern, accessible rail travel.”

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The Government’s Access for All programme was launched in 2006 and has led to step-free access being introduced at more than 200 stations.

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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...