Train company aims to improve services.
London Midland is encouraging more disabled travellers to use its rail services. New research, by Network Rail, showed that almost a quarter (24 per cent) of disabled travellers do not feel their journey will be an easy one. In response London Midland has launched a campaign to highlight how it is committed to making rail travel simpler for everyone.
Francis Thomas, head of corporate affairs at London Midland, said: “London Midland is working really hard to make train travel as simple and easy as possible for all our customers.
“75 per cent of our stations are now step free. If you are using a station where we haven’t yet been able to make those modifications, we will make arrangements to get you to a station where it is easier for you, at our expense.”
London Midland was the first train operating company to create an Access Advisory Panel, an externally chaired group representing the needs of disabled passengers, to shape the future of accessible train travel.
Nick Goss, an independent consultant and wheelchair user, chairs London Midland’s Access Advisory Panel. Having travelled on the railway network for over 30 years, he has seen some vast improvements over this time. He said: “Trains provide an incredibly good option for a wide range of disabled people. It’s about planning where you want to go, what you want to do and really working in partnership with the train operating companies to tell them what you need so they can provide the right assistance, in the right way at the right time.”
London Midland trains and stations have seen significant investment to improve accessibility for all passengers. 75 per cent of its stations now have, step-free access including ramps and lifts . All of London Midland’s trains are also accessible. For stations yet to be improved, through its Assisted Travel Team, London Midland will make arrangements for ticket holders facing accessibility challenges to be taken to another station, at the company’s expense.
Recognising the need to continue finding new ways to make travel accessible for all, London Midland has launched aTravel Support Card to provide extra support and reassurance while travelling.If a passenger needs assistance but finds it difficult to communicate, the card can be shown to rail staff so they can understand what assistance might be required or in an emergency call the contact number provided.
Francis Thomas comments: “We are doing our very best to work in partnership with our customers to make innovative changes across our network. We need to reach out to all our passengers to understand what their needs are, what their future needs are going to be, and design the railway to meet that future need.”
More information about how to book travel assistance with London Midland is available at www.londonmidland.com/your-journey/more/accessibility/