Paralympic athlete helps promote accessible travel in Wales

Nathan Stephens
Credit: TfW

Transport for Wales has announced that they have teamed up with one of Wales’ top Paralympian athletes to show just how accessible the railway is today.

In a brand new video, that was launched as part of Disability Awareness Day, Nathan Stephens shows how to plan your journey, book assistance, negotiate a station environment and travelling safely onboard.

In the video, Nathan boards a train at Bridgend and travels down to Swansea.

The video is designed for anyone with mobility issues who may have been anxious or unsure about using public transport.

Having lost both his legs in a railway accident aged just nine, Nathan became involved in a host of disability sports, representing Great Britain at three Paralympic games.

He competed in a host of sports including Shot Put, Discus and Javelin. For a time he was the world record holder in the men’s F57 javelin.

Nathan took the gold medal in the Paralympic Athletics World Championships in New Zealand.

Transport for Wales is investing £15 million in accessibility improvements across its network as well as committing to making 99% of all journeys on the Core Valley Network step free in the £800 million South Wales Metro project.

What did the officials say?

Nathan, 31, from Bridgend, said:

“The process was really good and I was really impressed.

“The majority of my travel has always been me driving because my experiences of public transport hadn’t always been the best.

“But the journey was stress free and the passenger assistance at Bridgend really good.

“I’m looking forward to the new trains and stations making things a lot more accessible and this is something I’m going to be doing a lot more often.”

Transport for Wales’ Head of Customer Experience Barry Lloyd said Nathan was a fantastic role model.

“It was brilliant working with Nathan on this video and hopefully it will really raise awareness about how we are making our railway more accessible,” he said.

“While we still have a long way to go, we are so passionate about building a truly accessible and inclusive railway both for current and future generations.”

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.