Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Funding boost to make railway services more accessible

A new scheme, launched by Northern Trains, will make it easier for older and disabled people to travel by train.

The scheme is backed by a £250,000 investment to make railway stations and services more accessible. Organisations, stakeholders, community groups and charities will be able to propose specific projects that will make a positive difference to communities across the north of England.

In previous years, the scheme has created improved station signage for those with learning disabilities and dementia, and tactile wayfinding for people with visual impairments.

Organisations will put forward proposals to be within a chance of being awarded the funding

The £250k will be awarded across a number of categories, with one project receiving £100k, several schemes receiving £50k and other proposals each receiving a maximum of £10k.

Mark Powles, Commercial and Customer Director at Northern said: “We are dedicated to making Northern’s services accessible to everyone, and to playing a role in improving the communities along our routes. We want to hear suggestions for how we can continue to do this.

“I am delighted that for the second year running we have been able to provide a quarter of a million pounds to our Accessibility Innovation Scheme, which will consider a wide range of proposals involving our trains and stations and will have a positive impact for the north.”

“The fund is part of our wider project to transform our network, giving all our customers a rail service fit for the 21st Century.”

Making train travel simpler and easier

Ideas for the 2023 scheme could include innovations that make train travel simpler and easier, raise awareness of rail services or encourage people to travel for the first time by train.

Other applications could include how information is presented at stations or the facilities provided.

For bids to be considered, the proposed project or scheme must be scheduled for completion by 31st December 2023, be fully costed and appropriately researched. Match funding is not a requirement but will be looked at favourably, especially for schemes with a higher overall value.

Applications can be submitted via the Northern website.

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