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What is the industry doing to improve accessibility? 

Being able to travel by train can open up a whole host of opportunities – jobs, education, days out and business connections.  

We believe that everyone should be able to take advantage of these which is why as part of a long-term plan to change and improve the railway, we are working collaboratively with industry stakeholders, advocacy groups and our customers to make rail travel easier and simpler for all. 

We’re targeting investment where it can have the biggest impact on the biggest number of disabled passengers:

  • In the last few years, we’ve made around 100 more stations step free, on top of the 450 that already are. 70% of journeys tare made through step-free stations. 

  • We’ve launch a textphone service so people who are hard of hearing can book. assistance more easily. And we’ve introduced one number for people to call to book assistance, regardless of which train company they are travelling with. 

  • We’re in the process of introducing 8,000 new, more accessible carriages.  

  • We’re making ticket machines more accessible – clearer screens and better heights. 

  • We’re encouraging more people to get a disabled persons railcard, which offers a third off fares.  

  • We launched the Access Map: a new interactive map which will make it easy for passengers to find out about accessibility at stations, helping to boost their confidence to travel by train. 

  • We’re developing a new Passenger Assist app, out later this year – to make it quicker and easier for people with disabilities to book assistance, and so they can be more confident they are going to get the help they needed to travel.

What is the industry doing to be more inclusive on mental health?

Mental health is another key part of our work to improve accessibility, with many train companies running initiatives to make train travel more inclusive and accessible for everyone. 

  • Customers with hidden disabilities can travel with confidence by showing a ‘sunflower lanyard’, a ‘Can you help me’ card or a JAM card. This will let staff know that someone may need extra help so the staff member can ask what help the person would benefit from.  
  • Try a Train Events provide an ideal opportunity for those who lack confidence travelling by train to visit our stations and experience a train journey. They are aimed at people with hidden and physical disabilities and available to anyone who may experience barriers to travelling e.g. senior citizens, non-English speakers. 
  • The rail industry regularly supports the Samaritans’ with suicide prevention campaigns and training, fundraising at stations and encouraging staff to volunteer. This supports people in emotional crisis while improving conversations about mental health and wellbeing among staff. 

How do people book assistance to travel?

There are a number of ways people can book the assistance they require to travel. 

  • By the national freephone number on 0800 022 3720, which will forward customers on to the train company they need.  
  • Customers can use the free textphone forwarding service on 60083, which will send them the number they need.  
  • Customers can also book online at disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/travel-assistance/
  • If customers want to book by email or fax, they can contact their train company directly.

Find out more information about how we can help customers access the railway

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Rail companies are calling for big changes but what matters to you?