Metrolink has been held up as a beacon of accessibility in a new film launched by prestigious Design Council Cabe on international “World Cities Day”.
The film features Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) inclusive approach to the planning, design and management of the Metrolink network, shining a spotlight on its award-winning Disability Design Reference Group.
Design Council Cabe is now set to use the film in a government-funded training programme that is estimated to reach more than 600,000 highly skilled professionals across the UK.
Using best practice real life examples like Metrolink, the training will help encourage people working in the built environment to continue leading the way in building the most accessible and inclusive country in the world.
In Greater Manchester, the Disability Design Reference Group has had a hands-on role in the design process for access-related aspects of the expanded Metrolink network – and other transport projects – to make sure they meet the needs of disabled people.
The group, which includes people with a range of impairments, has given practical advice on a range of accessibility issues, from the design and layout of tram stops and car parks to tram seating arrangements.
Peter Cushing, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, said: “It’s great to see Metrolink in the spotlight for being such an inclusive transport system.
"We’re proud of the work we’ve done with the Disability Design Reference Group to help make Metrolink one of the most accessible transport systems in Europe.
“It’s great to see this work showcased by such a prestigious body as Design Council Cabe and I hope that it will be of practical use in training new generations of professionals working in the built environment to make places accessible to all.”
Clare Devine, Design Council’s Executive Director for Architecture, Built Environment and Design, said: “As demonstrated by this short film, raising awareness and implementing inclusivity in the early design stages of placemaking is vital to individuals, communities, the economy and the future of the built environment profession.
“Our training programme provides a greater understanding and knowledge on a national level, enabling us to create a more inclusive society for all.”
Over 36 million journeys are made by people on Metrolink every year. The approach that TfGM has taken with the Disability Design Reference Group is now recognised as a model of best practice by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
This year’s United Nations World Cities Day has the theme “Inclusive Cities, Shared Development”.
For more information on Metrolink services visit www.metrolink.co.uk, call Metrolink Customer Services on 0161 205 2000 or follow @MCRMetrolink for live travel updates.