London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway have welcomed the launch of a new £20m accessibility fund by the Department for Transport (DfT). The DfT has pledged to make money available for station improvements such as paving and raised platform edges.
The two local train operators say that everyone is welcome to travel on their trains and they are working hard to make their networks even more accessible.Both train companies are improving access for passengers at stations and on trains. This includes investing £700m in trains that will increase capacity by 25%.
Jon Harris, integration and accessibility manager for West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway, said: “The message is clear – there should be no barriers preventing passengers using our services.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to improve the user experience for all our passengers, including those with additional needs. We are continuing to make significant investments and work with partners across the industry, including DfT, to make sure the railway is open for all.”
The two operators have also formed a partnership with the West Midlands Rail Executive and Network Rail called the West Midlands Stations Alliance. This group is designed to speed up the approach to making station improvements.
In February, West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway began a year-long partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society which includes a pledge to make stations and trains more dementia friendly.
Other work already undertaken by the two train companies includes:
- The setting up of a dedicated Stakeholder Equality Group to discuss improvements
- Development of a bespoke disability training package for front line staff
- Work with Network Rail on accessibility projects at stations including Lichfield Trent Valley, Tring, Stechford, Smethwick Rolfe Street and Worcester Shrub Hill
- Carrying out an accessibility assessment at each station in our network
- Supported the creation of a ‘Calm Corner’ for passengers at Crewe Station
For more information on Accessible Travel, including information on booking assistance at the station or help purchasing tickets, passengers can visit www.westmidlandsrailway.co.uk/accessibility or www.londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk/accessibility
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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