Trailblazers discuss rail accessibility with ATOC

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Following the publication of our End of the Line report back in 2009, Trailblazers have continuously tried to keep the pressure on Transport providers to improve accessibility. We try and make constructive recommendations to create better services for disabled passengers. Very recently, we have become involved in a rail access steering group. Trailblazers were invited be part of the panel for the National Rail Accessibility Forum. The forum, chaired by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), is a way to discuss the future of accessible rail travel.

Today was the second discussion by the forum which includes representatives from a variety of disability organisations as well as major train providers.

The focus of the discussion today was to evaluate some websites that provide people with information on both accessible transport and booking passenger assistance. Three websites were on the agenda, Disability on Board, the Disabled persons Railcard website and Stations Made Easy.

Personally I felt that these websites were a step in the right direction but none of them provided me with the complete picture of what it means to have a completely accessible journey. I was particularly concerned with the lack of precise information about what size and weight restrictions are placed on wheelchairs and mobility scooters as these vary greatly depending on the train company.

We would really like to hear your thoughts on these websites, do let me know if you’ve used them before and what you think is good or needs improving?


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