The UK Government has launched a £20m fund to undertake accessibility improvements at stations in order to provide enhanced services for disabled passengers.
The fund is part of the government’s greater effort to make the transport network more inclusive.
In July, the UK Department for Transport published the Inclusive Transport Strategy to improve access for disabled passengers.
The document outlines the government’s commitment to ensure all disabled passengers using the transport system have equal access by 2030.
The Department for Transport has invited the industry to submit applications for stations that require improvements to accessibility.
Enhancements could be in the form of tactile paving, handrails and ‘Harrington humps’.
Designed to increase platform heights, Harrington humps were first installed at Harrington railway station in December 2008.
UK Accessibility Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “While many take for granted the ability to travel easily from A to B, access for the fifth of people who identify as disabled can be far from straightforward.
“We want disabled people to travel easily, confidently and without extra cost, which is why it is fantastic to be opening this fund today.
“I look forward to seeing what ideas the industry has for accessibility improvements as we work towards a more inclusive rail network.”
Ever since the Inclusive Transport Strategy was launched, the government has implemented a number of measures to improve accessibility.
These include setting up an independent rail ombudsman to address passengers’ grievances against rail companies and providing an additional £300m funding to improve accessibility across 73 stations.
The funding announcement was made in April under the department’s Access for All programme.
First launched in 2006, the Access for All programme seeks to deliver accessible, step-free routes into stations, as well as smaller-scale improvements.
In addition to physical infrastructure improvements, the Inclusive Transport Strategy aims to improve awareness of passenger rights and ensure easy and simple access to travel information to passengers.