Silverdale railway station awarded grant to make accessibility improvements for autistic and visually impaired people

Northern has announced the winners of a fund to create a more accessible railway for all including Silverdale railway station which is one of 13 groups or organisations which is set to receive a grant of up to £50,000.

Community Rail Lancashire has been awarded the funding to create the map to help autistic people to explore the station environment before their visit – helping them to plan and prepare.

The Accessibility Fund is dedicated to empowering communities to make decisions which will improve the railway for all.

It’s a first for the UK rail industry as the successful bids were chosen by the independent Northern Accessibility User Group (NAUG) and supported by Northern.

Silverdale railway station will receive a grant of up to £50,000 from the Accessbility Fund to make accessibility improvements. Picture by Google Street View.

A total of 13 winning bids from community groups and other organisations are set to receive grants of up to £50,000 from the fund to make accessibility improvements at stations in their area and make services available to anyone who may feel isolated or excluded.

Other projects across the Northern’s network will focus on installing tactile wayfinding signs for people with visual impairments, immersive maps for autistic people and station improvements such as fitting handrails and ramps.

Mark Powles Commercial and Customer Director, at Northern said: “Our customers are the heart of everything we do, and we are dedicated to making Northern’s services accessible to everyone, and a to having a positive impact for the north.

“I am happy to announce that 13 bids have been successful, and I would like to thank everyone who got in touch with us with their ideas.

The fund is part of our wider project to transform our network and encourage people to use the railway – no matter their circumstances.”

Katie Musgrove, Special Educational Needs Officer for Community Rail Lancashire, said: "Being awarded this fund means that Community Rail Lancashire can develop the Autism Friendly Line project, an initiative we led on back in 2018, further.

"We do a lot of work with different community groups and schools and believe this will be a helpful tool for a wide range of people to use, enabling more confident travel for all."

Locations set to benefit from Northern's Accessibility Fund include:

Ulverston, Cark and Silverdale (Cumbria)

Lancashire (stations to be confirmed)

South Yorkshire (stations to be confirmed)

West Yorkshire (stations to be confirmed)

Lancashire (stations to be confirmed)

Mouldsworth (Cheshire)

Cuddington (Cheshire)

Buxton (Derbyshire)