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Highways England publishes access guides for motorway services

Highways England accessible guides

Highways England has partnered with AccessAble, a provider of accessibility information, to help disabled motorists plan where to stop for a break at any one of the 114 motorway service stations across England.

The partners have published new guides, available online or via the free AccessAble app, which feature facts, figures and photographs to help motorists plan their visit to the services.

The guides cover key areas including parking, toilets, petrol stations, shops, and restaurants, with detailed information on everything from staff training and hearing loops, to walking distances and designated places of safety.

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Nearly one in four people report they have a disability and drivers with disabilities represent five per cent of the driving population. 

Hull-based disability advocate and ‘The Deaf Traveller’ blogger, Ed Rex visited the Extra services at Leeds Skelton Lake on junction 45 of the M1 to test out the new guides.

Ed is profoundly deaf in both ears and relies on a hearing aid, cochlear implant and lipreading to communicate.

He said: “Being able to access the services they need is a big worry for deaf people or people who have hearing loss. Sometimes it’s just about making sure that the accessibility information is there so that people know, when they travel, that it won’t be stressful, and they’ll feel empowered to do it on their own and be independent.

“One of the features of Highways England’s access guides for motorway services is information about assistive listening, which is really helpful for people who are Deaf or have hearing loss, giving them confidence that support is there if they need it.”

Highways England and AccessAble have also worked together to create virtual route guides for the services. This new type of guide, which uses 360-degree imagery, will enable visitors to ‘virtually’ explore routes to key facilities like accessible toilets and Changing Places, so they can find out exactly what to expect when they arrive.

Highways England Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Julian Horsler, said: “We’re committed to ensuring our customers with disabilities can travel safely on our roads. That’s why we’re introducing new services to break down barriers and help people reliably plan and feel confident about their journeys.

“Whatever the nature of your disability, the access guides for motorway service areas take the guesswork out of journey planning, giving you the information you need about facilities along your route.”

Tags : AccessAbleHighways Englandservice station
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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