Rail user in a wheelchair

East West Rail sets out priorities for disabled passengers

East West Rail’s Accessibility Advisory Panel (AAP) has set out the top priorities for disabled passengers on Britain’s rail network.

Latest figures show that 16.1 million people, or 24% of the UK’s population, have a disability. The AAP has identified key areas of improvement that address the needs of disabled people to be considered in the early stages of the design and construction of East West Rail (EWR).

Georgina Taylor, Head of Customer Service Delivery at EWR, said: “We’re determined to make sure that all customers have a fantastic experience by building a railway that meets different physical and mobility needs, as well as mental wellbeing and neurodiversity.

“The AAP’s priority issues list will help us better understand barriers to travel and how to overcome them, enabling us to be a beacon for inclusive rail design.”

The list of priorities published by the AAP focuses on trains, stations and digital services. They include:

  • Accessible toilets on trains and at stations
  • Step-free access to and through stations
  • Level, unassisted boarding
  • Universally accessible timetables and information boards
  • Remove ticket barriers for disabled people
  • Provide space on trains for two wheelchair users to travel together
  • Improve access to station staff with full disability training

The AAP was set up in advance of trains operating on the first stage of EWR, which will start running between Oxford in Bletchley in 2025.

The panel is made up of 12 people from across the EWR route with experience of travelling on Britain’s rail network as disabled passengers.

Image credit: iStock

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