Metrolink wins second national accessibility award

Manchester Metrolink is celebrating after receiving their second national award for accessibility this year, this time the Transport for Greater Manchester Disability Design Reference Group (DDRG) has won the “Public Sector Engagement” award at Breakthrough UK’s National Independent Living Awards.

The DDRG has been an integral part of the design process for the expanded Metrolink network since 2008 with 11 members who represent people with a range of disabilities. They give practical advice on accessibility issues and it is this which is making a huge difference to passengers. This approach that TfGM has taken with the DDRG is now recognised as a model of best practice by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “The Disability Design Reference Group’s work has helped us make Metrolink the most accessible form of transport in the region. I’m delighted to see their work recognised once again with this award. Their input to the delivery of our Future Metrolink programme has been invaluable. The group has given us crucial feedback on everything from the design of new tram stops through to the best positioning of handrails on stops and the seating layout on the trams. The result is a tram network that is not only fully accessible, but much easier to use for passengers with disabilities.”

The improvements the DDRG have influence has ranged from the inclusion of additional safety rails to assist guide cane users, to the development of a comprehensive, network wide Access Guide with maps to assist disabled people.

Earlier this year the DDRG received the “Best Customer Initiative” award at the national Light Rail Awards.

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