Thursday 3 Dec 2020
International Day of Disabled Persons marked in Network Rail's Southern region with new mobility buggies and Changing Place facility
Network Rail's Southern region is marking the International Day of the Disabled Person today with the introduction of new accessibility features at three of its largest London stations.
New state-of-the-art mobility buggies have been introduced at London's Victoria and Waterloo stations this month.
Meanwhile, a new 'Changing Place' facility, specially designed for passengers who are disabled, has opened at London Bridge station this week.
The Changing Place is reserved for passengers who are disabled, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, who can use the facilities assisted by their family members or carers.
They include features such as a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a hoist system plus a curtain for privacy from family members or carers, and specially designed toilets and sinks.
Nicole Cohen-Wray, Stations Director for Network Rail's Southern region, said: "Our stations need to be a space where all passengers feel comfortable and confident to enter. I’m delighted by the inclusion of the new Changing Place at London Bridge, as well as the mobility buggies at Waterloo and Victoria stations. Just two of the most recent initiatives we've introduced to make stations open and accessible for all."
To access the facility, customers will need to request access when they arrive at the station and be escorted to and from the facility by a member of the station team.
Speaking about the new Changing Place at London Bridge, Antony Merlyn, Accessibility Manager for GTR, which runs Thameslink and Southern services through the station, said: "This will be a real game-changer for the many people who need it; it will make a huge difference to our disabled customers."
Meanwhile new mobility buggies are being introduced to help disabled passengers, enabling them to have a comfortable and spacious ride through the stations’ concourse and platforms.
They replace buggies that were over 20 years old and are part of Network Rail's mission to help passengers with accessibility needs to navigate around the station.
The new buggies have even better accessibility features such as more flexible body panels, six seats and fully opening rear doors with large grab handles.
Meanwhile, rays of purple light are beaming from London Waterloo and railway stations across the country as the rail industry joined the global #PurpleLightUp movement and celebrates the contribution of disabled people around the world.
Notes to Editors
More information on the purple light up of stations can be found here
More information on the Changing Place at London Bridge station can be found here
More information on Victoria station can be found here
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About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.