England’s stations turn purple

The famous clock at London Waterloo shows it is time to celebrate the contribution of disabled people around the world.

A number of Britain’s main railway stations joined the global #PurpleLightUp movement on Thursday 3 December 2020 to celebrate the contribution of disabled people around the world.

Purple light bathed London King’s Cross, London Waterloo, London Liverpool Street, Bristol Temple Meads, Leeds and Manchester Piccadilly stations in the internationally recognised colour for disability, to highlight the railways’ commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Purple lights at Leeds station.

The COVID-19 pandemic has bought many new challenges to the rail industry in 2020, impacting both staff and passengers. Mask wearing and social distancing have made travelling more challenging, especially for passengers with non-visible disabilities.

As a result, Network Rail introduced a range of measures to help everyone to travel safely and with confidence during the pandemic, including taking part in the sunflower lanyard scheme to help recognise those with a non-visible disability or those who are unable to wear a face covering. The organisation has also provided hand sanitiser in its stations, installed at various heights.

King’s Cross western concourse bathed in purple light.
Laura Murphy, Network Rail.

Laura Murphy, station manager for Network Rail station manager at King’s Cross, Laura Murphy, said: “We’re really happy to be supporting this initiative and we continue to strive to create a railway which is suitable for everyone.

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges, and we’ve worked particularly hard over recent months to ensure that disabled passengers get a good service during this difficult time.”

Network Rail employs more than 800 disabled people and aims to have at least ten per cent of leadership positions filled by disabled people by 2024. To attract and retain more talented disabled people within the organisation, the company is working with Evenbreak, an award-winning social enterprise, run by and for disabled people.

Network Rail has also been recognised as a finalist in the RIDI (Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative) awards 2020 for its autism recruitment programme.

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