Rail franchises operators & contracts

11.06.18

GTR’s PRM policy remains unchanged, it tells ORR

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has denied making changes to the way in which it assists passengers with reduced mobility (PRM).

Following the publication of its document, ‘Pit stop: Key principles for managing station dwell times,’ the rail company suffered a backlash from media outlets and the RMT union over concerns over the statement “DO NOT attempt to place PRM on train if there is a possibility of delaying the service.”

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) contacted GTR to seek clarification around this.

The 'Pit stop’ document was produced by the train operator for station staff to ensure the safe and punctual departure of trains, and GTR has said that it is not a training manual for how to assist with PRM, and that the processes within it are to be followed for any passenger to prevent a train running late, regardless of whether or not the passenger has a disability, in order to prevent knock on delays.

GTR has offered assurance to the ORR that it continues to offer assistance to passengers who need help with their journey, and that this policy is unchanged.

If a train should arrive late, then passengers who require assistance to board will still be helped.

Another concern that has been raised is the “call ahead” approach, which ORR has confirmed is an industry-wide approach, supported by the office, where passengers who require assistance call in advance to ensure that they receive the assistance that they need at their destination, although this is not always possible.

Where reasonably practicable, train operators should provide “turn up and go” assistance to passengers, the ORR advised.

GTR said that “call ahead” is a long-standing principle, which has not been changed.

In its statement to ORR, the train operator said: “Whilst there has been no recent change to assistance support in the minutes before a service departs (dwell time), to avoid any further misinterpretation or misunderstanding the wording has already been revised on the page in the document and GTR is in the proceed of recalling and re0issuing a revised version.”

Top image: Scacciamosche

 

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