It’s been a year since the Department for Transport launched its strategy to improve access for disabled passengers.

The Inclusive Transport Strategy (ITS): Achieving Equal Access for Disabled People seeks to give disabled people the same access to transport as everyone else.

It aims to enable them to travel easily, confidently and without extra cost – something we’re working hard to support across the railway.

The ITS sets out the Government’s commitments to achieving equal access for disabled people using the transport system by 2030.

Access for All

We’ve launched a range of initiatives as part of the Access for All programme, which will provide obstacle-free, accessible routes to and between platforms.

More than £300m will back the Access for All programme over the next five years.

Our progress includes purple uniforms for assisted travel teams in four of Britain’s busiest railway stations to make them easier for passengers to recognise.

An accessible footbridge

Specialist staff at London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street stations have become the first in the country to wear purple – the international colour for disability.

Assisted travel is offered to all passengers who need help getting between trains and the station concourse.

New purple uniforms for assisted travel teams have arrived at four of Britain's biggest railway stations

The news follows the opening of a dedicated assisted travel lounge at Birmingham New Street station in June. The programme provides obstacle-free, accessible route to and between platforms to improve travel for passengers.

The government’s Department for Transport, which funds much of Network Rail’s activities, has secured further funding of up to £300m to extend the initiative between April 2019 and March 2024.

The lounge at Birmingham New Street follows a £175,000 investment by Network Rail and helps passengers who need help to get on and off trains.

The new assisted travel lounge for passengers at Birmingham New Street station

Station upgrades

As part of Access for All, we’ve embarked on a string of upgrades at railway stations to improve the travelling experience for passengers.   

For example, last month, we reached a milestone in the delivery of step-free access at Kilwinning station in Scotland with the installation of the final section of steel work on a new footbridge.

The three-span footbridge with lifts and stairs will give step-free access to all platforms and significantly enhance the journey experience for those with impaired mobility or travelling with children, luggage or bikes.

Finishing work on a new footbridge at Kilwinning station in Scotland

In May, we completed a project at Headingley station in West Yorkshire to improve accessibility and make using the station much easier.

We installed two lifts, creating an accessible route from the station entrance to the platforms and removing the need for those with heavy luggage, prams or additional access needs to use steps to reach the platforms.

Work has also taken place to install new lights, way finding signs and a CCTV system, and upgrade the PA system.

It came after the completion of work in April to install a footbridge and two lifts at Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire.

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