Some good news you might have missed recently about improved disabled access while travelling by car or train.
The Department for Transport is partnering with Muscular Dystrophy UK to fund new facilities, making travel easier on the roads for disabled people. More service stations in England are to become fully accessible for disabled passengers with the launch of a £2 million government fund.
I was pleased to hear that the new East Midlands franchise includes commitments to make accessibility improvements over the next few years.
Disabled access at 73 rail stations in Britain will be improved, including measures such as lifts and adjustable ticket counters, as part of a £300 million investment. These changes will be brought in over the next five years, which will help more disabled people to travel independently.
This week, the rail industry has also launched a new interactive map that will make it easier for passengers to find out about accessibility at train stations. The map is available here and clearly displays whether stations have step free or partial step free access, what facilities are available at a station (including accessible toilets and changing places) and where alternative accessible stations are for on-the-go planning.
Motorway service stations have been invited to apply for funding to create fully accessible toilets. More than a quarter of a million people across the UK cannot use standard accessible toilets, meaning that they are forced to go for long journeys without a bathroom break, be changed by their carers on toilet floors, or have to stay at home.
By providing more space and specialised equipment, including adult-sized changing benches and hoists, people with conditions like muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy will be able to use service station bathrooms safely and comfortably.
You can find out more about the Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy here.