Rail passengers in the North are to benefit from more accessible services, as TransPennine Express (TPE) introduces a new sign language service to all of its staffed stations.
Customers at stations across the North of England will be able to access a new British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation service designed to give additional assistance when travelling on the railway.
The new tool was launched by TPE to mark Deaf Awareness Week and will aim to give those with hearing impairments better independence to travel on the rail network.
The new sign language service works by providing those who need it access to a fully qualified sign language interpreter via a video link. The interpreter will communicate both to the customer and member of station staff, answering any queries the passenger may have – from ticketing options to train leaving times.
Those wishing to use the new tool will be able to ask staff at the booking office to contact a sign language interpreter at all of TPE’s staffed stations: Brough, Cleethorpes, Dewsbury, Grimsby Town, Huddersfield, Hull Paragon, Malton, Manchester Airport, Middlesbrough, Northallerton, Scarborough, Scunthorpe, Selby, Stalybridge, Thirsk, Thornaby.
BSL users will also be able to connect to a video interpreter for customer support or to pre-book assistance ahead of making their journey via the TPE website. The service will be available online seven days a week, between 8am and 12am.
Natasha Marsay, Accessibility and Inclusion Manager for TransPennine Express said: “We are thrilled to be launching this new service for customers during Deaf Awareness Week.
“We are totally committed to making our services as inclusive and accessible as possible and this improvement will make a real difference to anyone that is Deaf or has a hearing impairment.
“British Sign Language, which is now recognised as an official language, is the first or preferred language for more than 87,000 Deaf people in the UK and this new service will give people access to enhanced information or assistance when travelling.”