South Western Railway (SWR) have introduced an industry first Assisted Boarding Points to its stations across London to help improve accessibility.
Customers at SWR stations will find Assisted Boarding Points on platforms where they can WhatsApp or call a dedicated customer service team.
The customer service team will contact the guard on the next available service and ensure assistance is provided when the train arrives.
Customers will need to give just 10 minutes notice prior to travelling.
Clear signage with a QR code will be available for customers to scan to instantly message the team with details of their journey.
A telephone number will also be readily available.
Customers will need to give details of their departure and destination stations and the type of assistance they need.
This can include a wheelchair ramp, support getting onto the train due to visual impairment, reduced mobility or an injury.
The Assisted Boarding Points will help to improve the overall travel experience for customers.
Christian Neill, Customer Experience Director at SWR commented on the improved travel experience the scheme will bring.
Mr Neill said: “We’re really pleased that our industry first assistance service is now available at our London stations.
“It makes it possible for all of our customers who require assistance to travel with minimum fuss or difficulty, wherever they are on our network.
“This is just one way in which we’re boosting the accessibility of our network and helping all of our customers to travel with confidence.”
Alan Benson, Chair of Transport for All elaborated further on the importance of Assisted Boarding Points.
Mr Benson said: “Getting help on and off the train is vital for disabled people travelling, and this is the most common source of problems.
“Anything that makes this easier has to be welcomed.
“This initiative by SWR puts disabled travellers in control of their own journeys and will give them the confidence that is too often missing.”
Further information on the Assisted Boarding Points can be found at the SWR website.