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;
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
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.
Andrew Hodgson, Director, National Federation of the Blind
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
Alexis Keir, Director, Elfrida Rathbone Camden
Roz Hardie, Director, Lewisham Disability Coalition
Lisa Ehlers, CEO, Kingston Centre for Independent Living
Mohammed Aslam Khan Lodhi, President, Basaira Elderly Centre
Andrew Lee, Director, People First
Lesley Walls, Chief Executive, One to One Enfield
Rosemary Somerstown, Visually Impaired in Camden
Mr George Hana, Chair, Bromley Experts by Experience