Ministers Pledge To Publish Their First ‘Robust’ Rail Access Strategy

By John Pring in Disability News Service.

The government has promised to publish its first “robust” national strategy to improve the accessibility of the rail network.

The pledge came in its new white paper, which aims to “transform the railways in Great Britain”.

There was little or no publicity or further detail around the pledge, but the white paper – which the government is calling the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail – promises to make travelling by rail a “modern, convenient and accessible experience for passengers” with “more fully accessible trains and stations”.

At present, only about one in five stations have step-free access to all platforms, according to the white paper.

The plan promises that “realtime updates on station accessibility” will be rolled out at stations, on trains and directly to passengers through third-party providers, which will “help people know whether lifts are working, how busy a service may be and where the most accessible point of a platform is”.

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