29 November 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT says shocking new figures out today on disabled access reinforce case for rail staff
Rail union RMT said that shocking new figures issued today on disabled access to Britain’s railways reinforce the case for station and train staff and are a shameful wake-up call for the whole industry
More than 1,000 railway stations in Britain cannot be used by some disabled passengers and over 40% of the country's 2,560 stations do not have full step-free access, according to analysis of Office of Rail and Road data by the charity Leonard Cheshire.
The charity claims this is "barring disabled people from travelling independently" and warns that many disabled people face difficulties planning journeys due to unclear information about station accessibility.
Passengers have also reported problems arranging ramps to get them between a platform and a train.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“These are shameful figures that should serve as a wake-up call to the whole rail industry to get its house in order, starting with a total reversal of plans to remove guards from trains and to de-staff stations in the quest for profit. The people paying the price for these cuts-led decisions are the most vulnerable in our society who are being denied the right to travel in total contravention of disability discrimination legislation.
“Guards and station staff are crucial in delivering a safe and accessible railway for all and social media is awash with the appalling stories of those who have been left stranded because there was nobody to help them as numbers are hacked back by greedy train companies. It is time for that scandal to be called to an end.”