Thursday, 19 March 2015

Trains For Disabled

Two thirds of disabled people want ‘turn up and go’ on trains.

Two thirds of disabled people responding to a recent survey said they would be more likely to use trains more frequently if they could turn up and go, rather than booking assistance ahead of their journey.

The survey of 799 disabled people was carried out by disability charity Papworth Trust. Two thirds said that having to book assistance 24 hours in advance was a barrier. The ‘turn up and go’ service is currently only offered on London Overground and as a trial in some London mainline stations, but could easily be rolled out to all 404 fully accessible stations in England[1] to increase passenger numbers.

The Trust has used its findings to produce a report called ‘Improving rail travel for disabled passengers in the UK’. Other recommendations include:

  *  Making access improvements at only 67 stations would mean that three quarters of all entries and exits could be made through accessible stations[2].
  *  The Department for Transport should include accessibility requirements in franchise agreements, and monitor improvements through key performance indicators, so that accessibility is no longer a point of competition between operators but delivered at a minimum standard across the country.

The report highlights some success stories, including:

  *  Southern Trains have made huge improvements, going from 5% of accessible stations in 2002 to 39% in 2014.
  *  In England, the number of stations classed as accessible under the four criteria more than doubled between 2002 to 2014.

How do you prefer to travel?

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