New map to help disabled rail passengers

LNER Azuma
Credit: Bradley Langton

The rail industry has announced that it is launching a new interactive map which will make it easy for passengers to find out about accessibility at stations.

It is hoped that this will help to boost their confidence to travel by train.

This is part of the industry’s programme to improve access to rail and deliver long-term change.

The new ‘Access Map’ has information about all stations across Britain and allows people to identify whether any station in the country is accessible so they can plan according to their needs.

Passengers can search for specific stations or view anywhere in Britain using Access Map, which 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
  • where alternative accessible stations are for on-the-go planning.

The Access Map is compatible with accessible features on iPhone, Android and desktop computers, including for visually impaired people.

It is also being developed as an app, which will be released in the coming months.

Train companies are also introducing new, more accessible trains including the new Stadler trains for MerseyRail and Greater Anglia, the Class 800 ‘Azuma’ from LNER and the new class 717 trains being introduced by GTR.

The Rail Delivery Group worked in collaboration with train companies and the Department for Transport to create Access Map.

What did the officials say?

Robert Nisbet, Director, Regions & Nations at the Rail Delivery Group, said:

“Our new map will help to boost passengers’ confidence when they travel by train, eliminating the element of surprise and giving them the reassurance that comes with planning a journey and knowing what to expect.

“We know we need to go further and the rail industry is driving bigger changes to make the railway accessible for everyone. We’re investing billions of pounds into thousands of more accessible carriages, developing an app to speed up booking assistance, and upgrading infrastructure to make stations across the country more accessible.”

Transport Accessibility Minster Nusrat Ghani said:

“I am delighted to see this new interactive map launched, marking an important step towards our aim of providing disabled passengers with the information they need to travel independently – a key commitment in our Inclusive Transport Strategy.

“However, we know there is more to do, which is why earlier this month we announced the 73 stations across the country which will receive a share of £300 million Access for All funding to improve disabled access.”

Accessibility Campaigner Sarah Ward said:

“Knowing in advance what features are at a station before I get there increases my confidence hugely. I think the map will be beneficial for a whole range of people. The more information you can have before you travel, the easier it is.”

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  • Will it also be designed for people who have learning and/or behaviour difficulties such as Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Aspergers (Autism Spectrum Disorder), ADHD, Cerebral Palsy and people with other conditions that the new “access map” will be ideal.

    Aswell used for disabled people when traveling on the trains. That would make it easier to travel by rail and with a Disabled Railcard.