RNIB delivers petition demanding rail safety for passengers with sight loss
We have delivered the rail safe petition backing our calls for tactile paving to be urgently installed across the rail network - signed by 15,817 people - to Network Rail and the Department for Transport.
The petition, which was delivered this week (21 July 2021), urges that stations are made safe for blind and partially sighted people.
Sekha Hall, the partner of Cleveland Gervais who was tragically killed last year after falling from a platform without tactile in south-east London RNIB, joined us to deliver the petition.
Safety at railway stations must be urgently addressed so no other blind or partially sighted people's lives are cruelly cut short, like my partner Cleveland's was.
Keith Valentine, RNIB’s Director of Services, delivered the petition alongside Sekha.
He added: “Up to 15 per cent of people falling from platforms are blind or partially sighted. Despite being a fundamental safety measure which people with sight loss rely on to keep a safe distance from the platform edge, around half of mainline railway stations in Britain lack tactile. This is completely unacceptable and we’re here today to demand urgent change.”
The delivery of petition places important pressure on Network Rail and the Department for Transport to complete the installation of tactile quickly.
Sekha explained: “We can’t wait until 2029 for platform safety. The rollout of tactile must be sped up and safety measures need to be in place now where tactile isn’t currently installed.”
Following pressure from MPs, the Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has acknowledged the need for faster action and promised an announcement “in the very short term” on the funding required to speed up the installation of tactile across the rail network.
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in this important campaign. You can read the petition in full and the letters we delivered to Network Rail and the Department for Transport here: