Zero Discrimination Day
On 1 March, we celebrate Zero Discrimination Day: a day which aims to end all forms of discrimination.
Less than half of train stations in Greater Manchester currently have step-free access (Statham, 2022), making them compliant with the Equality Act 2010.
At the current rate of progress, disabled people will have to wait until 2070 for the railway network to have full step-free access in Britain (Leonard Cheshire, 2020).
30% of disabled people say that difficulties with public transport have reduced their independence (Scope, 2022). The Rail Minister tried to justify pushing the discriminatory policy of closing all ticket offices in train stations at the Transport Select Committee. Bob Ellard, a member of the Disabled People Against Cuts' (DPAC) national steering group, says:
“Closure and loss of assistance staff on stations would mean loss of access to train travel for these people – it cannot be allowed to happen’."
What we're doing
In January, we signed the petition of the National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK), amongst other 127 organisations, to keep guards on all trains and stop the closure of all ticket offices.
The Transport Committee has launched an inquiry about the legal obligations in relation to transport accessibility and whether they are being met. We are planning to respond to the inquiry by 20th March 2023.
What to know how you can help?
- The Transport Committee has launched a survey to capture the experiences of people with access needs when using transport services and their experiences of attempting to complain or seek redress. Complete the survey here. The deadline is Monday, 20 March 2023.
- 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.
- Lastly, sign up for our campaigning updates to hear more about our work on inaccessible train stations.
Feature image: Roman Fox