GUEST BLOG: The British Polio Fellowship’s National Chairman discusses Greater Anglia Trains’ successful accessibility aids
Accessible travel has been a hot topic in the news recently, with railway services and airports upgrading and updating their facilities to make traveling an inclusive experience for those with disabilities.
David Mitchell, National Chairman for the British Polio Fellowship, wrote to AT Today to talk about one particular train operator which has gone above and beyond to help those who require extra assistance.
Public transport presents a gargantuan struggle for so many disabled people around the world, including the 120,000 people in Britain with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). Train travel in particular is a mode of transport that is taken for granted for most. Yet it remains a huge problem for disabled people if the station and rolling stock are not fit for easy access or staff are poorly trained or rude. No shortage of ammunition in the media recently.
Luckily, some train lines are striving to make train travel accessible for all; which is fantastic news for everyone including our charity’s members. Greater Anglia Trains is on a roll. It has recently tested a series of accessibility aids on disabled volunteers, to make sure its future Flirt UK trains are accessible for all passengers, including disabled people. The testing was a clear success, with the group – which included a wheelchair user; a blind person; and a visually impaired person with a guide dog – suggesting a number of design adjustments to the new trains.
The local council says Greater Anglia has gone much further than the law requires and its actions are in the spirit of creating the best experience and environment to those with disabilities. We wholeheartedly agree. Thank you Greater Anglia; well done and other operators please take note.
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship