An update on Nathaniel Yates’ #GMRailAccess Campaign
About Nathaniel’s campaign
After years of tireless campaigning, Nathaniel’s local train station, Reddish North, was awarded funding to make it fully accessible in 2021. Despite his campaign's success, public transport within other parts of Greater Manchester continues to be inaccessible. This has a major impact on disabled people’s lives.
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.
Inaccessible train stations near our education provisions
Cheadle train station is the nearest station to the Together Trust’s Inscape and Ashcroft schools, and it has recently been granted £8.3m of Towns Funding for the building of a new train station. We want to ensure that its planning is as accessible as possible.
Further to this, Ashbury’s train station is the nearest train station to our Bridge College. It is inaccessible and hasn’t been granted funding for improvements yet. We want the station to be improved so that everybody can benefit from it, whether commuting to school, work or using it for leisure.
The National picture on inaccessible train stations
In the UK, around 14 million people are disabled, yet only 20% of train stations have step-free access between the street and platforms.
In 2018, the Government published the Inclusive Transport Strategy, aiming to make transport fully accessible for all passengers by 2030. However, progress has been incredibly slow.
Leonard Cheshire is campaigning for a new law that guarantees all train journeys in Britain will be fully accessible by 2030.
The inaccessibility of train stations prevents many people with disabilities from using the rail network. This directly impacts their ability to access employment, education and health care, and participation in leisure, social and commercial activities, which can result in loss of social independence. This is worsened by economic difficulties endured by an overreliance on more expensive modes of travel, such as cars or taxis.
Railway accessibility could enable the increase of the employment rate amongst adults with disabilities. Based on research, a 10% rise in the employment rate amongst disabled adults could contribute an extra £12 billion to the Exchequer by 2030.
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 it if it is inaccessible! Tag @NathanielSAYS and @TogetherTrust in the photo on Twitter using the hashtag #GMRailAccess.
Sign up to our campaigning updates to hear more about how we are supporting Nathaniel’s campaign: https://secure.togethertrust.org.uk/sign-our-latest-campaigning-news-and-opportunities