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News & Features

Northern Rail Questioned Over Accessibility

Posted in General News on Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Directors at Northern Rail have been scrutinised for their policy to only allow the users of certain wheelchairs and mobility scooters to use their ramps to board the trains. The Policy states that people are allowed to use the ramps if their wheelchair or mobility scooter can be folded. However, this is not an option for a number of wheelchair and scooter users and in defence of the policy Northern Rail has said that the ramps used on many of the trains are too steep to accommodate all mobility scooters. Anthony Jennings, a mobility scooter user responded to this by saying: “I can’t understand the current policy. My mobility scooter is able to do far steeper gradients than those leading onto the trains. This discriminates against users like myself who are now unable to access your trains.” Christopher Jackson, Regional Director of Northern Rail, said: "We truly empathise with your situation that is why all the new trains have been designed to include full access for mobility scooters. According to the new law, by 2020 all trains have to allow access for mobility scooters and although our new trains can accommodate this we will still have many trains in operation that can’t. This is because many of our trains were built before mobility scooters were created. Therefore, when we introduce these new trains in 2019 we still can't say that yes our trains can allow full mobility access, but by 2020 they will.”

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