Committee boosts Leonard Cheshire's transport initiative

Leonard Cheshire's All Aboard campaign, which aims to make UK trains fully accessible to disabled travellers by 2017, has been spurred on by support from the Joint Committee on the Draft Disability Discrimination Bill.

The committee's report into the draft bill, released last week, proposed that the 2017 deadline is "an appropriate compromise between the needs of disabled people and the railway industry's current replacement programme".

The report improves the chances of the success of the campaign that began after the Government proposed 2035 as the most likely date to phase-out inaccessible trains, and further delayed the decision in April by saying more consultation was needed.

"Now we need the Government to adopt that date in the bill," said John Knight, the charity's head of policy. In March he arrived at Parliament in a horse-drawn hearse to deliver 3,000 signed petition cards, each stating the signatories would be dead before trains were fully accessible. "We need assurances that this golden opportunity to back our proposal will be met without further delay," added Knight.

The bill is set to be published in October.

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