Best Community Campaign

How accessible is your local train station?

One step’s too many.

The Campaign

Over the past four and a half years, Nathaniel has been campaigning for equal access to all 96 train stations across Greater Manchester. Having Cerebral Palsy himself, this is an issue close to his heart.

He started the campaign when he fell down the stairs running to catch a train at his local train station, Reddish North. This prompted him to notice it wasn’t accessible for everyone and lead him to campaign online, encouraging other people to investigate whether their local train station was accessible. Working alongside community groups, Members of Parliament, and local politicians, Nathaniel set about making his dream of equal access for all a reality.

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awards

Nathaniel and Andy Burnham – (Photographer – John Yates) – 29/07/21

It’s an honour to get shortlisted and it’s also good publicity for my campaign.”

awards

Nathaniel and Andy Burnham – (Photographer – John Yates) – 29/07/21

It’s an honour to get shortlisted and it’s also good publicity for my campaign.”

The Change

Nathaniel started an online petition in 2018 to educate the community about the inaccessibility of their local train stations. To boost the campaign, he made online videos to show the physical state of the train stations and talk about the inaccessibility issues. This caught the attention of local journalists from the Manchester Evening News and Stockport Express, and that of politicians, such as Andrew Gwynne MP, Angela Rayner MP, and Dame Sarah Storey.

 Nathaniel made a journey with Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, from his local train station Reddish North to Levenshulme and then onto Manchester Piccadilly. This helped highlight the issues people were facing and gained more traction for the campaign. Eventually, his local train station secured City Regent Funding to help make it more accessible by installing lifts. These changes are due to implemented in 2025.

The Future

Access for All is a government scheme to fund accessibility of train stations. At the moment, 11 of Greater Manchester’s train stations are being considered for funding for step free access. The campaign has encouraged residents of areas where the train stations are located to write to the Department for Transport and lend their support to the funding bids. Nathaniel says he will continue to visit and campaign where needed until all 96 train stations are accessible.

Who else was involved?

Groups: Together Trust, Disability Rights UK, Greater Manchester Disabled People’s Panel, Seashell Trust, Stockport SAYS, Transport for Greater Manchester, Network Rail.

Individuals: Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester), Andrew Gwynne MP, Navendu Mishra MP, Dame Sarah Storey (Active Travel Commissioner for Manchester city-region), Angela Rayner MP (Deputy Leader of the Labour Party), Afzal Khan MP, Councillor Angie Clark, Councillor David Mellor, Councillor Grace Baynham, Councillor Kate Butler and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.