New app makes train travel easier for disabled passengers in UK
A new app has been developed to help ease train travel for disabled rail passengers across the country.
According to Rail Delivery Group, the Passenger Assistance app aims to make it easier for people with a disability to book and amend assistance requirements for rail journeys.
Customers currently have to pre-book assistance on the phone or online. Staff then use printed lists of the bookings which is problematic in cases of delays and cancellations.
Four operators are trialling the version which will be fully rolled out in autumn 2019.
The move has been praised by Paralympian Anne Wafula-Strike who says that the passenger assistance app will “empower disabled people to travel without fear.”
She added: “Although passenger assistance usually works, I’ve had awful experiences when it has failed so it’s great to see the rail industry addressing this and planning to change and improve for the benefit of disabled people.”
The app’s development comes following a spate of incidents in recent months involving wheelchair users not receiving the assistance they need on the railways.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “The application of technology to make travel easier by improving the reliability and responsiveness of passenger assistance is a welcome step.
“But for passengers to see the benefits of this, there will still need to be enough trained staff on hand in the right places to help as requested – and at short notice – to prevent unnecessary difficulties.”
Additional reporting by PA.