Train operator Greater Anglia has set out its commitment to making the railway more accessible in a new, just published policy.
The new Accessible Travel policy details the train operator’s promises for providing assistance for disabled and older passengers across all parts of their journey; this includes trains, station facilities, journey information, ticketing, fares, travelling with assistance dogs, wheelchair/mobility scooters, blue badge parking, staff training and accessible rail replacement services.
The documents spells out what passengers can expect when travelling; it also reflects recent changes to Greater Anglia’s accessibility strategy which include the appointment of an Accessibility Panel who will help shape the future of rail services in the region; improvements to staff training are also highlighted.
The policy is available online at greateranglia.co.uk/travel-information/accessibility/accessible-travel-policy with the printed version available at all staffed stations. It can also be sent in the post free of charge via Greater Anglia’s Customer Relations Team.
Along with the updated policy leaflet, a Train Accessibility Guide and Station Accessibility Guide is also available to download at greateranglia.co.uk/accessibility
Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, approximately 30,000 people used Greater Anglia’s Assisted Travel service every year to get help with making a train journey. Greater Anglia staff are able to meet passengers, help them get on and off trains and help with luggage. A similar number of passengers with accessibility needs also used Greater Anglia services without booking.
Greater Anglia’s Accessibility Manager, Rebecca Richardson, said, “We want everyone to have a good journey with us and the updated policy and leaflet outlines our promise to do everything we can to ensure that this is the case.”
“We recognise the industry has a lot of work to do to improve accessibility and to build a better relationship with our disabled customers and we think our improved training, new accessibility panel and our diversity and inclusion strategy is the start of real progressive change for our business.”
Greater Anglia’s new fleet of trains are equipped with lower level floors and a retractable step at each door; the new features bridge the gap between the train and the station platform making them more accessible for wheelchairs, buggies and people with mobility impairments. Each new train also has dedicated wheelchair spaces and universally accessible toilets.
In addition to improvements on the the trains themselves the are several projects currently underway or completed across the Greater Anglia network to improve access to stations and waiting rooms.