Accessible railways would get more than 50,000 disabled people into work
More than 50,000 disabled people could get jobs if Britain had an accessible rail system, a new study by disability charity Leonard Cheshire has revealed.
Research shows that 51,000 disabled individuals have turned down a job offer due to a lack of accessibility on the railway (24,000 were actively seeking work, 27,000 said they would like to work).
According to the charity, the benefits to the Exchequer would be as much as £900 million if all 51,000 found work, with a potential output boost of £2.5 billion.
An estimated £4.3 billion, the study states, is needed for creating step free access to platform level for disabled people across the rail network. It claims that this would be a fraction of overall transport capital spending – and just a single year of spending on High Speed 2.
The cost also represents just two per cent of current transport capital investment, the research found.
Meanwhile, in London, the Lower Thames Crossing, a project to supplement the existing Dartford Crossing, is estimated to cost between £5.3 billion and £6.8 billion for just 14.3 miles of road.
The findings contrast with the stark reality that 41 per cent of the UK’s railway stations still lack basic step free access today.
Leonard Cheshire is currently campaigning to make Britain’s railways fully accessible by 2030, as it says that without significant progress, the system won’t be accessible until 2070.
There are signs some progress has been made. Last year, 73 stations were given a £300 million funding boost to help make them more accessible to elderly and disabled people.
Earlier this year, the Department for Transport provided funding for 124 rail stations to improve accessibility, highlighting the need for more inclusive stations for disabled people.
Gemma Hope, Leonard Cheshire’s Director of Policy, said: “These findings reinforce the need for investment in railway station infrastructure. It is a simple issue of equality that is even more relevant as we remain in an economic crisis for the foreseeable future.
“We have revealed a clear link between accessible rail and job opportunities for disabled people that will boost the economy and improve lives.”https://thiis.co.uk/accessible-railways-would-get-more-than-50000-disabled-people-into-work/https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Greater-Anglia-Trains-e1608129192977.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Greater-Anglia-Trains-e1608129192977.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1NewsroomReports & ResearchSector NewsThird Sectoraccessible,investment,jobs,Leonard Cheshire,network,rail,railway,research,transportMore than 50,000 disabled people could get jobs if Britain had an accessible rail system, a new study by disability charity Leonard Cheshire has revealed. Research shows that 51,000 disabled individuals have turned down a job offer due to a lack of accessibility on the railway (24,000 were actively seeking...Liane McIvorLiane McIvorliane@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine