Rail operator, Northern, is asking community groups to come forward with ideas to make its network and trains more accessible for disabled and older people.
Furthermore, it has set up a £250,000 fund for the best ideas to change the network for those less able.
The Accessibility Fund is now open and allows organisations, groups and charities to bid for grants of up to £50,000 to make improvements at stations in their area.
Back in 2020, Northern agreed to launch the fund alongside South Yorkshire Passenger Transport, Transport for Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
As a first for the UK industry, the fund will be led by an independent body, the Northern Accessibility User Group (NAUG), but will be supported by Northern.
NAUG spokesperson, James Martin, said: “Everyone has the right to travel independently, and we are delighted that our pan disability group will lead the Accessibility Fund to make Northern stations and services more accessible for everyone.
“We are pleased with the commitment Northern has shown to support the fund, which will benefit many communities across the North.”
Mark Powles Commercial & Customer Director, at Northern, said: “We are dedicated to making Northern’s services accessible to everyone, and to playing a role in improving the communities along our routes. We want to hear suggestions for how we can continue to do this.
“I am happy to announce the opening of the Accessibility Fund, which will consider a wide range of proposals involving our trains and stations and will have a positive impact for the north.”
“The fund is part of our wider project to transform our network, giving all our customers a rail service fit for the 21st Century.
For ideas to be considered, the completion of projects should be between 5th April 2021 and 30th September 2022.
Applications can be submitted via the Northern website.
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