UK: Tyne & Wear Metro has installed tactile paving at a further 12 stations, meaning all 60 of its stations now have a visual and physical alert to the presence of the platform edges.

Visually impaired passengers boarding a Tyne & Wear Metro train

Metro’s stations now meet Department for Transport accessibility guidance, including the provision of tactile paving, dual-height handrails, anti-slip surfacing and step-free access from the street to the train door. Work is underway to install tactile paving on all of the staircases.

The tactile paving ‘provides a major accessibility improvement for customers who are blind or partially sighted’, said Cathy Massarella, Major Projects Director at transport authority Nexus. ‘We worked closely with the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Guide Dogs and other local disability campaigners to bring this project to fruition.’

Visually impaired passengers with white sticks waiting to board a Tyne & Wear Metro train

The new trains being built by Stadler will be ‘transformational in terms of improved accessibility’, Massarella added, with automatic sliding steps to eliminate the gap between the train and the edge of the platform.

RNIB Regional Campaign Officer Lewis Winton said tactile paving was ‘fundamental to the health and safety of passengers and pedestrians’, and there should be no station platforms without it.