Monday 19 Jul 2021
Network Rail open Changing Places facility in Leeds – the UK’s leader in accessibility.
- Region & Route:
- New Changing Places facility at Leeds station will help those with mobility-limiting disabilities travel with confidence.
- Leeds is leading the way for better accessibility, with the most Changing Places facilities in the UK.
- Further improvements include a new accessible toilet on platform zero and staff disability awareness training throughout July.
Today (19 July), Network Rail has opened a new Changing Places facility – a toilet for people with profound and multiple disabilities – at Leeds station to help make rail travel more accessible.
Leeds is leading the way for better accessibility, with over 40 of the 1,600 registered Changing Places facilities installed in the city. The new addition will allow the over 250,000 people who cannot use standard accessible toilets to travel with confidence.
The toilet, which has been registered by Changing Places Consortium, is different from a standard accessible toilet as it features an adult-sized, height-adjustable changing bench, an integrated hoist system and adequate space for a disabled person and up to two carers.
In addition to the new facility, the station has recently opened a new accessible toilet on platform zero and station staff will be undertaking disability awareness training throughout July. There are also future plans to open a new accessible lounge and reinstate seating that was removed due to social distancing measures.
Maxine Joicey, Station Customer Experience Manager for Network Rail, said: “It’s important that all of our passengers are able to travel with confidence through the station, so we’re delighted to open the new facility which will give those who have limited mobility the space and equipment they need.
“We’re lucky to be located in a city which is leading the way in accessibility and we’re committed to creating an inclusive environment at the station. We hope to achieve this by providing disability awareness training to the station team this month and opening a new accessible lounge in the longer term.”
The facility was officially opened today to mark the 15th anniversary of the Changing Places Consortium campaign, which is a partnership between Muscular Dystrophy UK, Promoting a More Inclusive Society (PAMIS) and the Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE).
Karen Hoe, Changing Places manager for Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, said: “We are delighted to see this new Changing Places Toilet now open in Leeds enabling the wider community the opportunity travel and access these vital facilities on their journey.”
It is located on the main concourse next to the existing male, female and accessible toilets that were recently renovated as part of the Leeds station improvements scheme.
Network Rail currently have registered facilities in a number of managed stations, including at London Euston, London King’s Cross, Birmingham New Street, London Bridge, London Paddington, London Waterloo and Glasgow Central to help improve access for disabled passengers.
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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.