The government has reached the milestone of its 1,000th station accessibility audit as part of an ongoing programme to improve inclusivity across the rail network.
The 1,000th station audit took place at Oban Station in Scotland at the end of March.
A key objective of the Williams Rail Review was to improve accessibility across the Network, and the government identified that an accessibility audit of all 2,564 stations across England, Scotland, and Wales would help to deliver this objective.
The audit, originally pledged in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, will help identify improvements and highlight existing areas of excellence. The findings will form a new public database so people can better plan their journeys and, along with input from disabled passengers, will shape future investment in accessible rail travel as part of the government’s National Disability Strategy.
Each station audit looks at elements in the public areas of stations including:
- Arrival/onward journeys (e.g. bus stops, taxi ranks, parking, cycle parking, other connections etc)
- Access routes, ticketing, retail and gateline services
- Station entrances, concourses, ticket halls, help points
- Platforms and waiting facilities, tactiles
- Sanitary facilities
- Steps, ramps, escalators and lifts
- Bridges, subways & track crossings
- Lighting – 5% of surveys will be performed at night
- Platform/ train interface (vertical/horizontal stepping distance to trains).
The audits are due to be completed by March 2023.
The Department for Transport said: “This 1,000th audit is a huge milestone as we highlight existing areas of excellence and identify scope for improvements. They will help produce a new public database, so people can better plan their journeys in advance and, along with input from disabled passengers, will shape future investment in accessible rail travel.”