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50 organisations demand the DfT to restore vital Access for All rail projects

Added: 6 October 2017 | Updated: 17 October 2017

This Monday, Transport for All together with RNIB, Muscular Dystrophy UK, Thomas Pocklington Trust, Campaign for better Transport, Inclusion London and 45 other organisations across the disability and transport sectors are sending a letter to the Department for Transport urging them to restore vital Access for All rail projects;


In just a few days, the Government will publish a Statement of Funds for Network Rail (Available by 13th October 2017).

It’s an important issue for Disabled and older people. Currently just 20% of railway stations in the UK have full step-free access, and even less have the tactile paving, hearing loops, access points and audio-visual announcements that many Disabled people need to use them. Access for All funds vital large scale accessibility projects at stations such as the installation of lifts or platform level tactile paving and has helped to open up railway stations across the UK to Disabled and older people.

Sadly over £50m of the Access for All funding planned for the current control period was deferred, meaning half of all projects planned to be delivered between 2012 and 2019 have been delayed by up to five years.

We don’t want to see the deferred projects become the only major rail access improvements for the next six years; that is why we urge the Secretary of State for Transport to fund additional Access for All projects in the next control period, and to ensure that the deferred projects are delivered before 2020.

Take Action

We need this letter to be shared as widely as possible on social media.

  • Please retweet the tweet below if you can


  • Tweet the letter yourself with #RailAccessNow share yourself, tagging any organisations that you think would be interested in sharing.
  • Post the letter on facebook, tagging any organisations or individuals that may be interested
  • Send this letter on to your local MP asking that they raise the issue with the Department for Transport. To find your MPs contact details just go to https://www.writetothem.com/ and enter your postcode.


The Letter to the Secretary of State

Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP Secretary of State for Transport Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR

Dear Mr Grayling,

R.E: Access for All funding in the CP6 Network Rail budget

Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the UK still has long way to go in terms of rail access. Nearly eighty percent of stations across the UK do not have full step-free access, and many more don’t have the tactile paving, audio visual information, induction loops and the other fixtures that enable Deaf, Disabled and older people to use them. It follows that great swathes of the UK rail network are no go areas for Disabled people, particularly those with mobility impairments. At the current rate it would be over 200 years before the UK rail network is fully accessible.

We are therefore writing to urge you to take positive action for access.

This is not just about the injustice of Deaf and Disabled people still being locked out of our rail network, over 25 years since our right to access was passed into law. Accessible stations benefit everyone, parents with buggies, dog owners and people with luggage all find it easier to travel at accessible stations. The Government’s own figures show that investment in rail accessibility will pay back nearly three times that amount in economic benefits.

It is time to invest in the potential of Deaf and Disabled people.

For many, an accessible train station could mean the difference between work and unemployment, a lifeline to friends and family or isolation. Access for All funding has helped to unlock parts of our rail network for Deaf, Disabled and older people to use, in many cases for the first time. Stations up and down the UK from Cheadle Hulme to Canterbury and from Balham to Blackburn have benefited from Access for All funding. The deferral of half of all the Access for All projects planned over the past six years has meant that the already slow progress on rail access has all but ground to halt. Disabled people in the areas affected will have fewer opportunities and less freedom because of the decision to delay these projects. The upcoming Network Rail budget is an opportunity to get things back on track. Therefore, we welcome the Department’s positive statement on Access for All in the 2017 Accessibility Action Plan and urge you to:
  • Commit to delivering all deferred Access for All projects by the end of 2020;
  • Commit to funding additional Access for All projects in the next control period; and
  • Set out an ambitious long-term plan for making our railways fully accessible.

Yours sincerely,

Faryal Velmi, Director, Transport for All
Richard Holmes, Public Affairs Director, RNIB
Benali Hamdache, Campaign Engagement Manager, Parkinsons
Peter Corbet, CEO, Thomas Pocklington Trust
Husna Mortua, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Leonard Cheshire Disability
Tracy Lazard, Director, Inclusion London
Stephen Joseph, Director, Campaign for Better Transport
Nic Bungay,Director of Campaigns, Muscular Distrophy UK
Andrew Hodgson, Director, National Federation of the Blind
Jan Sheldon, CEO, Royal Association for Deaf People
Odette Batterel, Director, South East London Vision
Linda Burnip, Disabled People Against Cuts
Ron Douglas, Chair, National Pensioners Convention
Ruth Carter, People’s Choice
Isabel Clement Director, Wheels for Wellbeing
Deborah Wheelan, OxfordshireTransport Action Group
Emily Morton, Chief Executive, Disability Sheffield
David Strong, Director, Disability Advice Service Lambeth
Robert Burgis Richmond Transport Action Group
Jhon Marulanda, Latin American Disabled People’s Project
Lianne Burns, Chief Executive, Enfield Disability Action
Annemarie Braganza, Travel Training Manager, Ealing Travel Training
Lesley Dodd, Chief Executive, Ealing Mencap
Wendy Starkie, Ealing Centre for Independent Living
Eirwen Grenfell-Essam, Chair, Network 81
Alexis Keir, Director, Elfrida Rathbone Camden
Roz Hardie, Director, Lewisham Disability Coalition
Angela Wegener, Disablement Association Hillingdon
Joyce Kallevik,Director, WISH
Lisa Ehlers, CEO, Kingston Centre for Independent Living
Mohammed Aslam Khan Lodhi, President, Basaira Elderly Centre
Andrew Lee, Director, People First
Sean McGovern, TUC General Council
Lucy Byrne, Chief Executive, Richmond Aide
Lesley Walls, Chief Executive, One to One Enfield
Penny Ledger, Co-Chair, Disability Network Hounslow
Rosemary Somerstown, Visually Impaired in Camden
Logie Lohendran, Chair, Merton Seniors Forum
Phil Gosling, Co-Chair, Regard
Will Davies, Lewisham Speaking Up
Becky Meakin, Shaping our Lives
Matthew Cock, Vocal Eyes
George Saunders, Co – Chair, Norwich Access Group
Penelope Beschizza, Deaf Change UK
Mike Smith, CEO, Real
Panagiotis Balalas, Age UK Lambeth
Zeenat Jeewa, CEO, Asian People’s Disability Alliance
Nick Biskinis, Clapham Transport Users Group
Cathy Maker, Richmond Users Independent Living Service
Chris Pennington, Sutton Older People’s Involvement Group
John Healy, Brent Advocacy Concern
Mr George Hana, Chair, Bromley Experts by Experience
Barry McDonald, Chair, Bromley Mobility Forum
Robert Burgis, Richmond Transport Action Group