New policy aims to aid accessibility and journey planning.
London Midland has welcomed the news that take-up of railcards for disabled passengers has jumped by 7.4% over the past 12 months.
New figures published by rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road showed there are 196,076 Disabled Persons Railcards in circulation in July, compared with 182,516 at the same point last year.
Last month London Midland launched a new Disabled People’s Protection Policy setting out how the train company is working to aid accessibility and make journey planning easier for everyone.
A range of new resources has been developed through this initiative, including a new downloadable map showing which stations now have step free access. Available on www.londonmidland.com, the map identifies the 75 per cent of London Midland stations that are step free. And for stations yet to be improved there is information about how passengers can access support through the Assisted Travel Team, where London Midland will make arrangements for ticket holders facing accessibility challenges to be taken to another station, at the company’s expense.
London Midland has also developed a Travel Support Card, which can be used by anyone who finds travelling difficult. The card is designed to be personalised to the individual and can include a personal emergency contact as well as specific details of how London Midland staff can assist. This can be particularly useful if a passenger needs assistance but finds it difficult to communicate their requirements, as they can simply show the card to a member of staff.
London Midland has a long history of working to improve accessibility for passengers, and 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.
And today, all of London Midland’s class 350 and class 170 trains offer high levels of accessibility, including dedicated spaces for wheelchair users, accessible toilets, automatic audio and visual information systems, on-board ramps, and colour contrasted internal and external fittings.
London Midland commercial director, Richard Brooks said: “We want everyone to be able to use our services with confidence. The increase in the take-up of railcards for disabled passengers is great news. We are doing our very best to work in partnership with our customers to make innovative changes across our network to improve accessibility for all. We will continue to reach out to our passengers to help us design a service that meets their needs, both now and into the future.”
All the latest information about accessibility on London Midland services can be found online at http://www.londonmidland.com/your-journey/more/accessibility/