Measuring the Benefits of the Access for All Programme
A Duckenfield, T Higbee, Steer Davies Gleave, UK; M Holt, Department for Transport, UK
This paper describes a study which evaluated the benefits to individuals, society and the rail industry of the Access for All rail station improvement programme.
The Access for All Programme is part of the Railways for All Strategy, launched in 2006 to address the issues faced by disabled passengers using railway stations in Great Britain. Central to the Strategy is the ring-fencing of £35m funding per year, until 2015, for provision of an obstacle free, accessible route to and between platforms at priority stations. This generally includes the provision of lifts or ramps, as well as associated works and refurbishment along the defined route.
The aim of the study reported in this paper was to primarilly to understand the benefits of the improvements for passengers, wider society and train operators. A secondary objective was to help inform the implementation of subsequent station improvement projects.
The study itself involved a stakeholder workshop, passenger interviews, and inovative accompanied and unaccompanied journeys by people with different disabilities. The concept behind the accompanied and unaccompanied journeys was to see how people who hadn't travelled by rail recently found the experience. For both this part of the research and the passenger interviews, a sample of stations with and without access improvements were included, so the differences between the two could be determined.
Alongside the original research, data was also colected and analysed to measure any changes in the volume of passengers using the station, particularly Disabled and Senior Railcard holders.
The research measured some quantifiable benefits, not just to disabled passengers but accross all groups of passengers, albeit to different degrees. Qualitative feedback was also obtained, and guidance on the future development and implementation of the Access for All programme.
Association for European Transport