The Government has revealed a new accessibility guide laying out ways to combat environmental and infrastructure-related barriers for disabled people who use rail. The outline of the guide “Inclusive Mobility; A Guide to Best Practice on Access to Pedestrian and Transport Infrastructure” states, “creating and maintaining an accessible public realm is crucial for ensuring that disabled people are not excluded from playing a full role in society”.

The plan sets out the Government’s intention to introduce inclusion guidance that will benefit disabled people with both temporary mobility needs and long-term disability-related requirements. In addition, the accessibility guide includes advice that would be beneficial to other potential users such as people travelling with young children, or people with luggage. Key issues raised in the document approach topics such as the consideration of door and entrance alternatives, the sensitivity of sensors, choice of tones and colour contrast in relation to symbols and platform guidance, street furniture, and additional seating for mobility-impaired travellers in and around stations.

Direct Access welcomes the release of this legislation and the values that it supports. However, we must see this innovation manifest into real and tangible change for the long term across the British public transport sector as a whole, and not just within rail. Our team, which consists of 86% disabled people, is dedicated to creating accessible environments within the rail and greater transport sectors. We have previously carried out accessibility audits for all Virgin managed stations on the UK’s West Coast Mainline, which led to the first-ever Quiet Room for autistic travellers on the UK rail network, as well as consulting for all 19 stations run by TransPennine Express.

Ensuring these changes can take place, rail operators across the UK will require cost-effective and innovative guidance, physical infrastructure altercations, and policy changes that ensure organisations remain accessible for the long term. Direct Access are proud to be national leaders in the support of disabled people’s rights across the spectrum. Whether those needs are based on mobility issues, sensory issues, or are mental health-related, our team’s lived experience as disabled people has provided us with intuition and empathy which sets us apart. We are also champions of inclusion beyond disability itself, with considerations towards ethnic minority groups as well as LGBT+ communities.

If you own a facility or are part of an organisation that wishes to meet best practice obligations under the Equality Act, why not get in touch with us today? Our Consultancy team will ensure that you take the steps to not only do the right thing with your budget but open the door to the social and financial benefits that come only as a result of creating an accessible and inclusive environment for disabled people.

Get in contact today. We are here to help. Because for us, access is personal.

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