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Euston Station: Access

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ask (a) the Health and Safety Executive and (b) the Equality and Human Rights Commission to inspect Euston station to ensure it complies with the relevant legislation in respect of access for the (i) disabled and (ii) parents with pushchairs from (A) car parks, (B) taxi ranks and (C) London Underground to the station and train platforms. (226593)

I am aware that the Association of Train Operating Companies is currently carrying out a programme of access audits of all stations on the network, the results of which will be made available in due course.

Inspection and enforcement of safety legislation on the operational railway is the on-going responsibility of HM Railway Inspectorate, which is overseen by the Office of the Rail Regulator, as set out in the Railways Act 2005. HMRI determine when visits to assess compliance are necessary.

Any works at stations must also comply with the standards in the DfT publication: “Accessible Train and Station Design for Disabled People: A Code of Practice”. Assessing compliance with these standards for new or existing station infrastructure is not a role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when Euston station was last inspected to ensure it meets disability discrimination legislation in respect of access from (a) car parks and (b) taxi ranks to (i) the station concourse and (ii) train platforms; and if he will make a statement about the adequacy of the station's compliance with such legislation. (226594)

All train and station operators self-certify to ensure that they meet the provisions of disability-related legislation and appropriate infrastructure requirements for accessibility. They must additionally produce a Disabled People's Protection Policy, agreed by the Secretary of State, which sets out the level of service and facilities at all stations that they operate, and which is updated regularly.

Network Rail's Disabled People's Protection Policy was last updated in June 2008 and is reviewed regularly. The current Disabled People's Protection Policy sets out arrangements for assisting passengers with reduced mobility to access the station from the car park and taxi rank.

Inside the station building, level access is possible to all platforms, and staff assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Modern facilities include an accessible toilet, induction loops and mobility vehicles which are available on request. As such, people with reduced mobility should be able to obtain any assistance that they require in order to use the station.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that access to all parts of Euston station is improved for (a) the elderly and disabled, (b) parents with pushchairs and (c) travellers with large amounts of luggage. (226602)

This is an operational matter for Network Rail who own and operate the station. Station operators are required by part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to make reasonable physical adjustments so that disabled people can access their services.

Network Rail are responding to this duty and are currently developing plans to install a lift link between the station concourse, taxi rank, car park and Underground ticket hall to improve access for passengers with reduced mobility. This facility is planned for completion in October 2009. In addition, Network Rail have confirmed that a comprehensive programme of refurbishments is being considered for 2015-16.