UK running 200 years behind on rail accessibility | Letter from 55 campaigners
Nearly 80% of stations across the UK are not accessible to deaf, disabled and older people, say 55 campaigners, even though the government’s figures show a threefold return on such investment
Last week 50 organisations wrote to the secretary of state for transport to demand that he restores vital Access for All rail projects. Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the UK still has a long way to go on rail access. Nearly 80% of stations across the UK are not accessible to deaf, disabled and older people. At the current rate it would be over 200 years before our rail network is fully accessible.
The government’s own figures show that investment in rail accessibility will pay back nearly three times over in economic benefits. Access for All funding has unlocked parts of our rail network for deaf, disabled and older people, in many cases for the first time. It is time that the government invested in the potential of deaf and disabled people. Therefore, we are urging the Department for Transport to take positive action for access – to commit to delivering all deferred Access for All projects by the end of 2020, and to commit to funding additional Access for All projects in the next control period.
Faryal Velmi, Director, Transport for All; Husna Mortua, Head of policy and campaigns, Leonard Cheshire Disability; Tracy Lazard, Director, Inclusion London; Lianna Eitkin, Campaign for Better Transport; Peter Corbet, CEO, Thomas Pocklington Trust; Nic Bungay, Director of campaigns, Muscular Distrophy UK; Peter Corbet, CEO, Thomas Pocklington Trust; Andrew Hodgson, Director, National Federation of the Blind; Richard Holmes, Public affairs director, RNIB; Jan Sheldon, CEO, Royal Association for Deaf People; Odette Batterel, Director, South East London Vision; Ron Douglas, Chair, National Pensioners Convention; Ruth Carter, People’s Choice; Isabel Clement Director, Wheels for Wellbeing; Deborah Wheelan, Oxfordshire Transport Action Group; John Boler, Mobility Issues Group for Goring and Streatly; Emily Morton, Chief executive, Disability Sheffield; David Strong, Director, Disability Advice Service Lambeth; Robert Burgis, Richmond Transport Action Group; Jhon Marulanda, Latin American Disabled People’s Project; Lianne Burns, Chief executive, Enfield Disability Action; Annemarie Braganza, Travel training manager, Ealing Travel Training; Lesley Dodd, Chief executive, Ealing Mencap; Wendy Starkie, Ealing Centre for Independent Living; Eirwen Grenfell-Essam, Chair, Network 81; Alexis Keir, Director, Elfrida Rathbone Camden; Roz Hardie, Director, Lewisham Disability Coalition; Angela Wegener, Disablement Association Hillingdon; Joyce Kallevik, Director, WISH; Lisa Ehlers, CEO, Kingston Centre for Independent Living; Mohammed Aslam Khan Lodhi, President, Basaira Elderly Centre; Andrew Lee, Director, People First; Sean McGovern, TUC General Council; Lucy Byrne, Chief executive, Richmond Aide; Lesley Walls, Chief executive, One to One Enfield; Penny Ledger, Co-Chair, Disability Network Hounslow; Rosemary Somerstown, Visually Impaired in Camden; Logie Lohendran, Chair, Merton Seniors Forum; Phil Gosling, Co-Chair, Regard; Will Davies, Lewisham Speaking Up; Becky Meakin, Shaping our Lives; Matthew Cock, Vocal Eyes; George Saunders, Co–Chair, Norwich Access Group; Penelope Beschizza, Deaf Change UK; Mike Smith, CEO, Real; Panagiotis Balalas, Age UK Lambeth; Zeenat Jeewa, CEO, Asian People’s Disability Alliance; Nick Biskinis, Clapham Transport Users Group; Cathy Maker, Richmond Users Independent Living Service; Chris Pennington, Sutton Older People’s Involvement Group; John Healy, Brent Advocacy Concern; Mr George Hana, Chair, Bromley Experts by Experience; Barry McDonald, Chair, Bromley Mobility Forum; Robert Burgis, Richmond Transport Action Group
Source: Guardian Transport