Disabled passengers have been prioritised with a range of innovative projects that will improve their train journeys.
The government has thrown its weight behind seven schemes to support those travelling with disabilities – initiatives that the Transport Accessibility Minister, Nusrat Ghani, says will help make railways accessible for all.
The initiatives include an augmented reality project that will support those using sign language on train journeys; an app to help station staff prioritise requests from disabled passengers to notify the user that their request for support has been received.
There will be a tool – called Accessibility Evaluation Survey for Stations – that will help those responsible for station accessibility to not only identify problems, but also prioritise improvements.
These measures were announced in summer, but have come back to the fore, with the Victoria Derbyshire Show on the BBC showcasing a brand new app that has been described as “life-changing” because it will track disabled rail users in real time.
This is expected to be rolled out nationwide, with the likes of West Midlands Railway, London Northwestern Railway, Greater Anglia and South Western Railway trialling different parts of the app.
Previously, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has carried out a programme of consumer research, providing an in-depth look at accessibility and assistance for disabled passengers.
Elsewhere, improving step free access on the London Underground is a priority of the Mayor of London, under whose watch changes have already commenced.
And the government is getting in on the act with the initiatives it has championed.
New measures will make transport fully accessible for all passengers by 2030, with up to £300 million available for requisite improvements to the network.
Ms Ghani said: “This inclusive Transport Strategy is the first step in achieving a genuinely inclusive transport network, which meets the needs of all people, regardless of whether they are disabled or not.”