Shildon Locomotion's disabled access rated top by charity

Locomotion museum, Shildon The Locomotion museum in Shildon, County Durham, is designed to be wheelchair accessible

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A tourist attraction in north-east England has received a top rating for disabled access.

A survey by disability charity Vitalise found the Locomotion museum in Shildon, County Durham, was the joint most accessible out of 85 attractions.

The analysis covered the most visited tourist spots across the UK.

Museum manager George Muirhead said his team had given "a lot of thought" to the design of Locomotion, which is a branch of the National Railway Museum.

Mr Muirhead said ramps alongside the engines, accessible toilets and easy access from car parks had been major considerations.

But he admitted there were still "things that we find hard to do".

'Spending power'

"It's very difficult to get people who cannot get out of the wheelchair onto the footplate of locomotives, for example," he said.

Chris Simmonds, of Vitalise, said: "Eleven million people in the UK are disabled and they have the spending power of £80bn, so it is an important opportunity for tourist attractions and shops."

The National Railway Museum's main centre in York also ranked joint top for accessibility.

Vitalise approached the 100 most visited tourist attractions in the UK with the survey, which asked them for information about disabled access. Eighty-five responded.

Other attractions with joint top scores included the Imperial War Museum in Manchester, the World Museum in Liverpool and the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Merseyside.

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