The Netherlands has been ranked the best railway nation in Europe for accessibility, while Czech Republic was marked as one of the worst in a new report. 

Created by online booking comparison website Omio, the report looked at three key points to determine its rankings: the percentage of stations with barrier-free entry to platforms, the percentage with tactile paving on platforms, and the percentage with digital information displays. 

The Netherlands achieved its ranking because 99% of its stations have tactile paving and digital displays, 97% have barrier-free entry, though Sweden and Norway recorded the highest percentages for the latter, both with 99%. 

Omio highlighted the importance of ensuring railway networks are accessible: “Ensuring that our transportation systems are accessible to all individuals, regardless of their physical abilities, is not only a moral imperative but also essential for fostering vibrant and connected communities.

“By prioritizing accessibility initiatives, we aim to enhance the travel experience for everyone, enabling individuals to explore new destinations, connect with loved ones, and pursue opportunities for leisure and adventure.” 

While Czechia ranked the lowest for overall accessibility, Omio also brought attention to issues in the UK, where only 61% of platforms were deemed to be accessible.

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The company said that though the UK has made progress in areas such as the availability of digital information screens, “British railway operators and decision-makers still have much work to do to achieve complete accessibility.” 

The warning for the UK is especially pertinent as it comes not long after the UK Government was forced to reverse a decision to close nearly all ticket offices in the country over fears that it could exclude passengers with accessibility needs by taking away an avenue of support. 

Other countries that ranked lowly in the report include Italy, which was found to be the worst for barrier-free entry to platforms at just 15%, Poland, which had the lowest percentage of tactile paving with 17%, and Spain, which was joint lowest with Czechia and Poland on access to digital information displays.