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Railways: Disability

Transport written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress his Department has made towards implementing the Technical Specification for Interoperability for Persons of Reduced Mobility on (a) existing and (b) future rail carriages.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

The Technical Specification for Interoperability for Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM TSI) is the pan-European accessibility standard that has applied to contracts for new trains of a new design, and major refurbishment of existing trains, signed after 30 June 2008 (or, for orders of new trains to existing designs, since 1 January 2010).

It replaced, for heavy rail, the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (RVAR)—which are similar domestic access standards that have been in place since 1998.

Over 6,600 vehicles are in service which comply with one of the two access standards. Further details can be found here:


All future train fleets, such as IEP, Thameslink and Crossrail, will comply with the PRM TSI. Meanwhile, the law requires all rail vehicles to be accessible by 1 January 2020.

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