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Disability campaigner Zack Kerr wins £2m for motorway toilets upgrades

Zack, from Oswaldtwistle, lobbied the government tirelessly for the money

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Zack Kerr

A disability campaigner is celebrating after his tireless efforts secured £2 million to ‘open up life opportunities’ for himself and others.

Zack Kerr, 22, from Oswaldtwistle, has convinced the government to install Changing Places Toilets at English motorway service stations.

The money will help around 250,000 disabled people who currently struggle with provision at most service stations.

Zack, who has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy affecting his limbs and speech, says this inhibits their ability to travel around the country.

But Changing Places Toilets, which have an adult-sized changing bed, a hoist to lift people out of a wheelchair and extra room, make a huge difference.

He said: “This is an amazing result, there are over 100 service stations on the UK’s motorway network but currently only 15 have accessible disabled toilets for people like me.

Zack Kerr

“There are more than a quarter of a million disabled people like me in the UK who require accessible toilets with a hoist and adult-size changing bed.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported my campaign. It means so much to me and will really help open up my life opportunities in the future.”

Zack, of Kiln House Way, began his campaign last August after going on holiday to Wales with his mum Krissy, 42, and step-dad Ceri Davies, 45.

Throughout the lengthy journey he found no service stations that met his needs.

Zack Kerr and his family deliver the petition to Downing Street

Around 130,000 people signed his online petition and he received unanimous backing from a Hyndburn council full council meeting.

Zack, who has a brother, Connor Eddleston, 11, delivered the petition to Downing Street with help from MP Graham Jones.

Now the £2m has been made available to help service stations to upgrade their disabled facilities as part of the government’s inclusive transport strategy.

Ceri said: “I think the reason the campaign took of was it was specific and service stations affect everyone who wants to travel.

"Zack has many complex needs but he always wants to do things to help other people. He is tenacious and never gives up.

“He has great character and charisma about him and a spark that makes him different.”

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Zack will next turn his attention to campaigning for similar facilities to be installed in hospitals.