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More than 40 per cent of UK stations are not accessible to physically disabled people, according to new research published today by disability charity Leonard Cheshire.

The study reveals that 50 per cent of stations in Scotland, 40 per cent of stations in England and 32 per cent of stations in Wales do not have full step-free access, which prevents passengers with physical disabilities travelling.

Stations that do have step-free access often require a ramp to get from the platform to the train, and the additional assistance needed to complete this task is not always available, says the charity.

The research also acknowledges the difficulties that disabled people face when trying to plan rail travel.

Vinny, from Liverpool, told the charity of the challenges he faces when attempting to train by train throughout the UK: “I would like to rely on trains more to get around. But I can’t physically get into some stations and transferring between trains is often very difficult.

“Steps are a really big issue for me. It means you have to consider which jobs to go for, because some are just not an option. If someone offered you a promotion and you think there’s a train station around the corner, but then you scope it out and it’s actually too far or there are steps, then it will make the difference between going for the job or not.”

Hannah, from Cheshire, uses a wheelchair and travels by train to visit friends in London. “I have made quite a few journeys by train in the last couple of years and have found that it takes meticulous planning to organise each trip,” she says.


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