We welcome the support from any charities, groups or organisations who would like to support the petition
The National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK) are extremely worried about the Governments proposed changes to the staffing at railway stations and on train services across the UK. The proposed changes include closing all ticket offices down, reducing staff and removing guards (also known as train managers or conductors) on trains and we would request your organisation’s help to stop any of these changes happening by supporting a petition on this issue. These proposed changes are totally unacceptable, we need safety, security and accessibility at all train stations and on all trains in the UK.
The NFBUK also want to take the opportunity to petition the Government to ensure improved safety, security and accessibility at all unmanned stations in the UK. We want all stations that are currently unmanned to be manned at all times. It is totally unacceptable that blind and visually impaired passengers, along with other disabled and vulnerable train passengers, have no railway staff at the stations to ask for help, to purchase tickets, for advice, and to meet their safety, security and accessibility needs.
The wording of the petition therefore states the following:
1: For all ticket offices to remain open and all manned stations to remain manned at all times with safe level of staffing
2: For all trains to have guards (also known as train managers or conductors) at all times
3: For all unmanned stations to become manned at all times with safe level of staffing
The petition is open for any charity, group or organisation who would like to support. All you need to do is email a yes with the organisations name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will add it the list.
The NFBUK are passionate about independent accessibility for all. It is essential that train users have someone to speak to at stations, to be able to purchase a ticket manually from the ticket office, to have the peace of mind that there will always be somebody present at all stations to ensure safe access on and off a train and for all people that need it, for a ramp to be deployed quickly and efficiently. Not everyone has access to the internet and not everybody has access to a smart phone. It is essential therefore that the option to purchase a ticket at a train station from a human from a ticket office is protected at all manned stations and for all unmanned stations to be staffed to ensure access for everyone who wants to travel independently.
It is also essential that all trains have guards on them for safety, security and accessibility. Removing staff from manned stations and removing guards from trains will make all train journeys unsafe and very stressful for blind, visually impaired, disabled and vulnerable train passengers. The proposed changes will create significant barriers for blind, visually impaired, disabled and vulnerable train passengers from being able to travel independently. They will not be able to travel and will be barred from using a relatively green and efficient form of transport due to the proposed changes. Leading to greater isolation in the disabled community and the inability to travel by train. This cannot be allowed to happen.
It is also imperative that the policy to have unmanned train stations in the UK is u-turned. It is essential that disabled and vulnerable passengers are ensured safety, security and accessibility at all stations with properly trained railway staff to ensure safe access on and off all trains and on railway property. Disabled people should be able to travel at any time and not have the stress of worrying about what will happen at the start and end of their journeys or when they have to transfer to another train.
We aim to hand the petition into Number 10 when the new Prime Minister takes over in September. There may be some slight changes to the petition before we hand it in and we will let you know if this happens. If you want to speak about the petition please call Sarah Gayton on 07903 155858 or 01827 714673.
President, National Federation of the Blind of the UK
Sarah Gayton, Street Access Campaign Coordinator
Phone 07903 155858 Any day
Phone 01827 714673 Not on Tuesday