Ministers have promised disabled rail passengers across the UK a raft of accessibility improvements with the opening of a £20m fund.
Officials said the opening of the fund marks a year since the launch of the Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy.
The Department for Transport has published a summary of progress on the strategy, setting out the commitments that have been achieved.
The £20m fund will pay for accessibility improvements at rail stations, specifically small-scale enhancements such as tactile paving, handrails and Harrington Humps, which increase platform heights.
DfT accessibility minister Nusrat Ghani said: ‘While many take for granted the ability to travel easily from A to B, access for the fifth of people who identify as disabled can be far from straightforward.
‘We want disabled people to travel easily, confidently and without extra cost, which is why it is fantastic to be opening this fund today.
'I look forward to seeing what ideas the industry has for accessibility improvements as we work towards a more inclusive rail network.’
John Welsman, guide dog owner and policy lead at Guide dogs for travel and mobility, said: ‘Guide Dogs welcomes the additional funding as independent train travel is a real challenge for people living with sight loss.
‘Elements like tactile paving on platform edges and steps, better signage, improved lighting and colour contrast, will make stations easier to negotiate confidently and more safely.
‘However, train travel is still a very complex environment for people with sight loss and we will continue to work to find solutions so that no one with sight loss is left out of life.’
Officials said that ‘key commitments’ in the last year include the introduction of the first Rail Ombudsman and the launch of a £2m fund to bring Changing Places accessible toilets to more motorway service areas.
Last month, guidance was issued to local authorities in England for extending the Blue Badge scheme to people with non-visible disabilities.
In April Ms Ghani announced that 73 stations will benefit from accessible routes to and between every platform, as part of the Government’s £300m Access for All fund.