Network Rail gets some initial funding to install tactile paving at stations
After months of campaigning, Network Rail has received an initial £10 million from the Department for Transport to install tactile paving at up to 200 priority stations in Britain.
We’ve been campaigning for tactile paving to be installed at stations which lack it, following the tragic death of Cleveland Gervais, a partially sighted man who fell from a platform without tactile paving early last year. In July, we delivered our rail safe petition - signed by 15,817 people - to Network Rail and the Department for Transport.
While RNIB welcomes the news of the initial £10 million funding, this still leaves hundreds of stations in Britain without this fundamental safety measure. With up to 15 per cent of people falling from platforms being blind or partially sighted, it is vital further funding is secured so the entire network can be made safe and accessible.
We were glad to see promises in the National Disability Strategy to accelerate the roll out of tactile. However, the current timeline for this work to finish in 2028/9 is unacceptable, despite the number of fatalities an absence of tactile has caused. The strategy, however, does not give us a revised timeline for this work nor any commitment for further funding.
It is likely that whether or not full funding is allocated will depend upon decisions made this autumn in a process called the Comprehensive Spending Review, when the Chancellor sets out his spending plans for each government department.
Network Rail says it anticipates that tactile paving could be fully installed across the network in two to three years, if the full funding is approved.