We want everyone to benefit from the opportunities train travel opens up. Ensuring the rail network is accessible and easy to use is a key focus of improvements at stations and on trains across Britain. Accessibility benefits everyone – people with mobility and health requirements, people travelling with children and luggage, plus anyone who needs extra support.
In 2019 the rail industry launched an interactive access map. Now passengers, including visually-impaired people, can find out about station accessibility in one click, helping people to feel more confident about travelling by train.
Between March 2019 and July 2019 more than 24,000 people logged on. We expect over a 100,000 journeys to be planned using the map in 2020.
An app version of our new access map will go live for passengers in 2020.
Passengers can see:
Passengers can book assistance for any train journey, with one number. Between summer 2017 and August 2019 more than 45,000 people called 0800 0223 720 or texted 60083 to organise help at the station, a ramp to board or to be met at the end of a journey.
We expect over 20,000 journeys to be planned using the number in 2020 as we help passengers with accessibility needs travel by train.
The rail industry is developing a new app to book assistance in a few clicks. Passengers will have their own profile and can get live information delivered to their phone during the journey.
Access for All
Work will continue in 2020 to deliver improvements as part of the ongoing £300 million government investment programme. The programme has so far delivered accessible, step free routes at more than 200 stations, as well as smaller scale accessibility improvements at more than 1,500 others. During 2019 a further 73 stations were added to the programme and improvement plans are being developed to make the network more inclusive. Rail companies will continue to work together to improve accessibility at stations as funding sources become available.
Greater Anglia has involved accessibility specialists in designing accessible features for 169 new trains coming into service from 2019. A wheelchair user, a blind person and a visually impaired person and his guide dog visited Swiss manufacturer Stadler, who are making 58 of the new trains, with Greater Anglia, to test the new designs in the factory. The group suggested improvements including changing the layout of wheelchair spaces to offer options in both directions of travel and improving the signage on the train which shows the location of accessible seating and toilets.