The Department for Transport has outlined plans to put £300m into improving disabled access across the rail network and motorways which will see funding be made available for Changing Places installations.
The Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy (ITS) is designed to improve accessibility across all types of travel for those with both visible and less visible disabilities.
The strategy includes investment in rail accessibility infrastructure, commitments to produce league tables which highlight operators that are delivering the best service for disabled people, and funding for Changing Places accessible toilets at motorway service stations.
The government will put up to £300 million of funding into extending the Access for All programme, making railway stations more accessible, including through step-free access.
Transport Accessibility Minister, Nusrat Ghani, said: “Transport is at the heart of how we live our lives. It helps us get to work, stay in touch with friends and family, and access vital services like healthcare and education.
“But for our ageing population and the fifth of people who are disabled, access to transport can be far from straightforward.
“This Inclusive Transport Strategy is the first step in achieving a genuinely inclusive transport network, which meets the needs of all people, regardless of whether they are disabled or not.
“Government acknowledges there is a lot of work to do to make the transport system fully accessible by 2030. The physical infrastructure that will be required to achieve this will take time to build.
“However, we are committed to working at pace on those areas where we can make an immediate and important difference, such as training and assistance.
Nic Bungay, Director of Campaigns, Care and Information at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Muscular Dystrophy UK welcomes the Department for Transport’s plans to make public transport more accessible for everyone and is encouraged to see investment in this area.
“Our campaigners have worked hard over the years to push for improvements and, while we know there is still a long way to go until people with disabilities have full accessibility, this announcement shows we are heading in the right direction.
“As the co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium, we are also pleased that funding has been committed to installing these fully accessible facilities at motorway service stations across the country, and we look forward to working with DfT as these are put in place.”