GTR visually impaired passengers app

Free use of app to help blind passengers introduced at eight stations

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is working with Sight Loss Councils to extend the free use of an innovative guiding app to eight more stations.

The app, named Aira, allows visually impaired customers to connect via video call with trained advisers who guide them around the station on speakerphone.

After positive feedback following trials at Brighton, East Croydon, Blackfriars and Stevenage, free use of the app has been extended to eight more stations:

  • Finsbury Park
  • Brent Cross West
  • Luton Airport Parkway
  • Bedford
  • Sutton
  • Haywards Heath
  • Eastbourne
  • Chichester

GTR’s Accessibility Lead, Carl Martin, said: “Extending this app to more stations could make a real difference to blind and partially sighted people.

“All our staff are trained to assist our customers, whatever their needs. We hope this app can improve the support we already offer blind and partially sighted customers to put them in charge of their journeys.”

“Extending this app to more stations could make a real difference to blind and partially sighted people.”

GTR first launched and trialled Aira in June 2023 with the support of Sight Loss Council volunteers from the Thomas Pocklington Trust sight loss charity.

David Smith, Sight Loss Council Engagement Manager for Thomas Pocklington Trust, said: “It is essential that everyone can travel independently and safely, and live the lives they want to lead.

“Sight Loss Councils are pleased to be working with Govia to expand this app, alongside a wider package of support designed to make transport accessible for blind and partially sighted people.”

Blind passenger Pierre Shimlon at Sutton said: “It was quite like being with a relative, having someone holding my arm. Everything was very well explained as he guided me along.”

For passengers without smartphones, other options to gain assistance are available on dedicated assistance pages on Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern’s websites.


Image credit: Govia Thameslink Railway


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