Rail industry makes improvements for customers who book assistance

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia has joined the rest of the rail industry in making it more convenient to pre-book passenger assistance.

Customers can now book Passenger Assist up to two hours, instead of six hours, before their journey is due to begin.

This improvement gives disabled customers and others who require assistance greater flexibility and control over their journeys, helping them to travel with confidence.

Passenger Assist is a service offered to older and disabled customers who need assistance to travel.

Some customers like the reassurance of booking assistance in advance to ensure they can get help with things like navigating a station, help with luggage or getting on and off a train and using a ramp.

The reduction in booking notification times comes after rail companies last year introduced a new app, Passenger Assistance by Transreport, which speeds up the process to request assistance.

Customers can also book assistance by phone, text phone or online.

Greater Anglia’s Accessibility Manager, Rebecca Richardson, said, "Whilst customers can still turn up and go at our staffed stations, some prefer to book their assistance and reducing the notification time gives them greater flexibility.

"We’re fully committed to making our railway more accessible and this is a positive step for people who wish to book assistance.”

Greater Anglia continues to work to make rail travel more accessible with many measures including:

  • The introduction of brand new trains which are more accessible by design
  • Online virtual station tours to help with journey planning
  • A new accessibility policy
  • An accessibility forum
  • Equality and inclusion training
  • Several build projects currently underway or completed across the network to improve access to stations and waiting rooms.

Clive Wood, Lead Regional Policy & Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, said: "Passenger Assist is a vital service for many blind and partially sighted people who want to travel by train independently and with confidence.

“Reducing the minimum booking time from six to two hours before travelling will enable passengers who prefer to book assistance the opportunity to be more spontaneous. This is a significant step to making train travel accessible for all.”