This Insight looks at how accessible Britain’s railway stations are for people with disabilities and what data is available via region.
How to measure accessibility?
Information on the level of access to railway stations for people with disabilities in Britain is made available through the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) ‘Knowledgebase’, which is described as:
“A database of static information about the facilities at each of the 2,500+ stations on the network, including specific information about available facilities for those with accessibility needs. Whilst this data is held centrally in the NRE Knowledgebase, it is kept up-to-date by each of the TOCs [Train Operation Companies] responsible for operating and maintaining the stations.”
The NRE Knowledgebase contains around 15 possible accessibility identifiers for each station. In this analysis, we have focused on those most consistently recorded across stations. They show whether a station provides: hearing induction loops, accessible ticket machines and ticket offices (for example, height-adjustable ticket office counters), ramps to access trains, ‘National Key’ disabled toilets (accessed with a key), step-free access and impaired mobility set-down and pick-up points. The latter includes clearly marked car passenger drop-off zones where blue badge holders can wait, or assistance to and from a car park or taxi rank.
By utilising the data made available through NRE’s Knowledgebase, it is possible to show how many stations are accessible for people with disabilities or reduced mobility.
How many stations provide disability access?
The provision of access for people with disabilities or reduced mobility can vary considerably across Britain, depending on what type of access is considered.