A Merseyside blindness charity welcomed Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s pledge to make all Mersey Rail stations and platforms accessible for those with disabilities.

However, Margaret Guppy, a volunteer from Bradbury Fields, told Mersey News Live that not enough is being done to improve the lives of those living with impaired vision.

The new Mersey Rail trains, introduced in 2023, have ‘sliding step technology’ which eliminates the need for a ‘mind the gap’ announcement.

Rotheram has promised voters that all Mersey Rails stations will become compatible with the technology by 2030, ahead of the upcoming mayoral election on 2nd May.

This would allow those using wheelchairs or pushing prams to more easily get on and off the trains.

Blind and visually impaired people will also benefit from this change.

Margaret said: “It would stop us falling down between the train and platform”.

She added that not enough action is taken to aid visually impaired people.

She said: “Very little is done, people don’t understand blindness, it’s not got better for visually impaired people, it’s got worse”.

Margaret explained how using public transport can be a challenge for visually impaired people, with buses being especially difficult.

As the only way to distinguish between approaching buses is the number on the front, it is hard for visually impaired people to use the bus system.

Margaret said: “I was once asked if my dog could read the number on the bus”.

Steve Rotheram’s promise to make all train stations disability friendly is certainly a step in the right direction but there is a long way to go before our public transport system truly works for everyone.

For more information on the upcoming mayoral election and a full list of candidates see MerseyNewsLive.co.uk.

Image courtesy of Alamy under agreed license.


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