Supporting Nathaniel Yates’ #GMRailAccess Campaign
In 2018, Nathaniel Yates, a former student of Stockport College, started a grassroots campaign with the aim of making local train stations more accessible for all, including people with physical and invisible disabilities.
Of more than 90 stations in Greater Manchester, Nathaniel says that fewer than half are fully accessible to people who are wheelchair users or who have walking or mobility impairments. After years of tireless campaigning, Nathaniel’s local train station, Reddish North, was awarded funding to make it fully accessible in 2021.
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, said at the time, “I would like to thank Nathaniel Yates for his incredible and tireless campaigning on this issue. He has done such a fantastic job of raising accessibility issues across Greater Manchester.”
Despite this campaign's success, public transport within other parts of Greater Manchester continues to be inaccessible. The impact of this on disabled people’s lives is significant.
Research conducted by Leonard Cheshire in 2020 found that:
- 22% of disabled people said that inaccessible transport made them feel isolated
- 21% said it harmed their mental health
- 18% said they were unable to stay active
- 15% said they could not socialise with family or friends
Nathaniel is determined to keep going with his campaign. He told us that one recent challenge is the closure of ticket offices and reductions in staff present at train stations, which means that there is often nobody there to assist disabled passengers with booking tickets or accessing help.
We are inspired by Nathaniel’s campaign and look forward to contributing to it. To see how we are working together, sign up for the Together Trust’s campaigning updates for recent news, stories, and opportunities to get involved.
Lucy Croxton, the Trust's Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager, said:
“As a charity that has been rooted in the North West for more than 150 years, we want to support Nathaniel’s amazing grassroots campaign for accessible transport in Stockport and Greater Manchester to raise awareness of the issues faced by disabled people in our local community.”
Want to know how you can help?
- Please sign Nathaniel’s petition to Stockport Council, 'How accessible is your local train station?'.
- Visit your local train station in Greater Manchester or Stockport and take photos of whether it is accessible.
- Tag @NathanielSAYS and @TogetherTrust in the photo on Twitter using the hashtag #GMRailAccess.