Train travel in the North of England is set to get a major accessibility boost as train operator Northern has partnered up with the mobility scooter manufacturer TGA, with ambitions to make train travel more autonomous for less abled passengers.
Passengers are now able to travel to and from more than 160 stations, on 281 routes on the train operator’s network, using their scooter or wheelchair.
Whilst all powerchairs and wheelchairs can be taken on accessible routes currently, only specific mobility scooters are permitted. This is where the partnership comes into play, offering passengers the option to get a mobility scooter permit, thus easing travel throughout the network.
This permit is free and easily accessible on the train operator’s website, providing key information which will clarify whether their scooter is suitable for rail travel. TGA will also be able to inform the passengers on which products from its range can be safely used on the Northern Rail network, such as a the Minimo Autofold or Minimo Plus.
Maxine Myers, accessibility improvement manager at Northern, said:
“We are committed to giving people with additional mobility needs the confidence to travel by rail. We want to support our customers whenever they need it.
“The mobility scooter scheme is an example of this commitment and we’ll be looking to deliver improved accessibility across our network as we roll out similar improvements at other stations in the future.”
As a celebration of this accessibility boosting union and to encourage further passenger return to the rail network, Northern passengers that have the new scooter permits will be able to benefit from a 10% discount on train friendly TGA products.
Daniel Stone, TGA managing director, said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with Northern who are providing greater accessibility on the rail network and opening up travel to areas in the North of England that may not have previously been possible. Inclusive stations and routes enable mobility scooter and wheelchair users access to the rail network with confidence and we are proud to offer our support to the scheme.”
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