Are railways really changing for the benefit of differently-abled?


The requirement for a public transport system that caters to the need of the differently-abled is a problem that is faced even in a developed nation. What seems to be an everyday task for a common person can be a challenging one for the other. Our transport network has grown many folds, from road transport to railways to waterways and even to airlines, but then also we feel a need to keep enhancing them for ease of usability for everyone.

In a survey conducted in 2018, it was found that many railway stations across the UK are not up to the benchmark in terms of disabled friendliness. Many commuters have faced a challenge in accessing a railway station due to the lack of facilities for disabled people.

     “If they cared about the customer they would actually invest in the stock… prices keep going up but the quality and reliability is still as horrendous as it was.” As per a user review recorded in Williams Rail Reviews in 2019.

In an article published in February 2022 by the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee of UK, nothing much has changed for disabled people. Only 20% of stations have incorporated to new build standards of step-free access between street and platform. More than 98% of stations have a step/gap that makes it inconvenient to board or de-board a train. It is found that this horizontal/vertical gap is more than 25cm wide. Whereas only 64% of stations have handrails on both sides of stairs or ramps. 

“Our system is so old and declined and the systems abroad are just miles better and we perceive our service for what it is, really poor.” Frequent User feedback as per William Rail Reviews

People have started to feel that organization does not want to focus on the quality of service that they are giving to people. They are constantly raising the prices as compared to services that need to be developed for the user experience. Being one of the major parts of transportation in the country it needs to be affordable, is one of the sentiments shared in the Williams Rail Review. 

What we also need is a different solution to the problem, we can’t be always depended on the government for all the solutions. Scewo is an organization that has brought an idea into reality. This Switzerland based company was a student project initially which has now won many design awards across many platforms. The unique ability of their wheelchair to conquer any terrain gives a sense of freedom to the user, making them less dependent on others.

A user can travel on flat surfaces and even climb stairs with it. Mobility is a major challenge for disabled people, and SCEWO BRO is a product that is giving a new shape to their daily life.

European deep tech investment firm Boundary Holding has also invested in the idea of free mobility for all. The company’s founder Mr. Rajat Khare incorporated it to primarily support ideas like this so that we are future-ready for any kind of challenge.

“Technology is best when it brings people together.”
Matt Mullenweg, Social Media Entrepreneur

With many more technological advancements and with the right kind of people, we can definitely make the world a better place for all. One should never forget that the need of the hour is to use technology for the betterment of every living being.