Skip to main content

Rail Network: Accessibility for Disabled People

Volume 682: debated on Thursday 22 October 2020

The Government have recently made £350 million available to make accessibility improvements at a further 209 stations through the Access for All programme, ramping up provision across the country. We also require the industry to comply with current accessibility standards whenever they install, replace or renew station infrastructure.

We are now heading up to Manchester with Afzal Khan—or we hoped to be. I call Navendu Mishra.

Currently, nearly 40% of stations in Britain do not have step-free access. Some upgrades are planned for Davenport and Heaton Chapel stations in my constituency of Stockport, but if updates to stations continue at this rate, our rail network will not be fully accessible until 2070, so what plans does the Minister have to ensure that more trains and platforms are made accessible?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question, because, as he knows, much of our station infrastructure is Victorian and therefore not accessible to many disabled passengers, and it is a huge shame that it is taking a long time to rectify that. Only around a fifth of stations have step-free access to and between all platforms, although 75% of journeys are through step-free stations, compared with 50% in 2005. However, there is a lot more to do, and we have an ambitious target to get this all sorted as quickly as possible.