Greater Anglia partners Essex County Council’s Travel Training scheme

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Greater Anglia is working with Essex County Council to support its Travel Training scheme which helps people with special educational needs and disabilities travel independently.

The train operator has provided free tickets to help people use trains safely, understand timetables and learn how to buy tickets so that they are able to travel independently with confidence to education, jobs and leisure.

Essex County Council’s expert team of travel trainers train students and adults on a one-to-one basis, accompanying them on journeys such as from home to school, college or day centres until they develop the skills to travel on their own.

They deliver the service across Essex, Suffolk and Southend.

Theresa Salmon, Travel Training Manager at Essex County Council said, “The benefits of travel training are far reaching and lifelong, not only for the individual, but for their parents and carers and the community as a whole, providing access to education and jobs and helping to reduce pressure on local authorities to provide transport services, such as taxis and escorted travel to schools and day centres for example by helping people to travel independently.”

“We are very grateful to Greater Anglia for supporting this scheme by providing free travel during training for those involved and our staff who accompany them.”

Figures show that since the scheme started it has enabled 3,000 people to become independent.

Greater Anglia’s Accessibility Manager, Rebecca Richardson, said, “The railway is a vital link for communities to access a range of services, and for leisure and work, so we are really pleased to be involved in this scheme which can help give people the confidence to start travelling by train.”

“Staff at stations are also available to continue offering support and information to anyone who needs assistance, and we have also produced a Travel Assistance card which people can show to staff to ensure we meet their specific needs and provide the right help.”

Parents who have used the Travel Training scheme have commented:

"I would like to say how grateful I am to the team for training my son to travel safely to and from college."

"We were worried because our son has autism, but each stage was repeated until he was confident to travel alone. We're so proud of him."