A study conducted by charity Leonard Cheshire has shown that over 40% of UK railway stations are not accessible for disabled people.

The stations throughout England, Scotland and Wales lack step-free access, thereby preventing disabled people to travel by train.

The research, which is based on data provided by the UK’s Office of Rail and Road, also revealed that 50% of stations in Scotland and 32% of stations in Wales do not have full step-free access for disabled people.

Even stations which offer step-free access often require that disabled people use a ramp while boarding the train at the platform. This requires additional assistance and makes it difficult for disabled people to travel spontaneously.

“Poor public transport is forcing disabled people to miss out on everyday events, which others take for granted.”

In addition, a lack of clear information on step-free access from the UK’s National Rail has made it difficult to plan a hassle-free trip.

Leonard Cheshire chief executive Neil Heslop said: “Poor public transport is forcing disabled people to miss out on everyday events, which others take for granted, from employment opportunities to social events.

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“Disabled people cannot continue to put their lives on hold.

“Rail operators must make it their absolute priority to ensure that their train stations have step-free access so that all their customers can travel as they choose.”

According to research carried out by Leonard Cheshire earlier this year, 35% of working-age disabled people faced problems using trains last year.

Leonard Cheshire is currently campaigning for the government and rail operators across the UK to make all stations fit for use for disabled people.