Only 21 Belgian stations out of 546 fulfil the conditions described by the SNCB for persons with reduced mobility to be able to access them independently, in percentage terms not even 4% of them. Calculations produced by the Wallonia Brussels Accessibility Collective (“Cawab”), reported on Tuesday in La Libre confirm the point.
In a letter sent on Monday to François Bellot, the Minister for Mobility (MR), Cawab as well as around 50 associations, are demanding better accessibility to stations, platforms and trains.
La Libre mentions that the service for persons with reduced mobility has been stepped up. In particular, the number of stations where personal assistance can be requested has now gone from 18 to 41. However, the collective remains critical that numerous anomalies persist in the system.
Thus, 21 stations are easily accessible to persons with reduced mobility and also offer personal assistance to enable such individuals to board the train. Some 94 stations lack full accessibility, but offer assistance to passengers. Some 70 stations have full accessibility, but no personal assistance. Moreover 361 have neither.
Cawab is requiring that an audit is carried out across the entire railway network, for annual publication. It also invites Minister Bellot to implement a strategic accessibility plan, so as guarantee that these commitments are kept to.