Disability charity Leonard Cheshire has called on Boris Johnson to prioritise “Access for All” as rail stations fail disabled people this Christmas.
It detailed how the government is set to miss its own targets for making all railway stations step-free by 40 years.
It confirmed that that 38% of train stations across Britain still do not have full step-free access.
The research found how the government will miss its 2030 target to make end to end journeys step-free by 2070 at the current average rate of completion.
The charity is therefore calling for a new law that guarantees all rail journeys in Britain will be fully accessible by 2030.
Even at an improved rate of 19 stations a year being made step-free from October 2019, work across the whole rail network wouldn’t be completed until 2070 as part of the government’s Access for All funded projects.
As recently as October 2018, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport spoke of a ‘system that offers equal access to disabled people by 2030.’
Leonard Cheshire went on to detail how most of the train operating companies have not made any changes over the past twelve months.
It said only six have increased the number of step-free stations they operate by over 5%, with just three delivering these improvements at 10% or more of their stations.
Overall, the percentage of stations that are step-free has changed by under 5% in all but two regions.
Neil Heslop, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire, said: “This is a timely reminder that our current rail network often excludes disabled people from making journeys others take for granted. “As families look to enjoy the festive season together, accessibility issues will add unnecessary stress to disabled travellers who negotiate a sub-standard network every day.”
Adding: “We call on Boris Johnson to prioritise the acceleration of Access for All, so disabled people can enjoy the life opportunities provided through modern, accessible rail travel.”