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Office for Rail & Road Release New Travel Guidance

29 July 2019

Aims to Increase Confidence of Disabled Passengers

The Office for Rail & Road (ORR) has recently published updated guidance for train and station operators. The guidance has the aim of increasing the confidence of elderly and disabled passengers when using the rail network. Although there were almost 1.3m 'booked assistance' journeys in 2018-2019, this represented an increase of just 2% on the previous year. The new and updated requirements include:

  • staff to be trained in disability awareness, with bi-annual refresher
  • increasing reliability of passenger assistance
  • improving the redress system when assistance fails
  • reducing booking notice period
  • improving information

Disability Rights UK Ambassador Stephen Brookes, who is also the government's Sector Champion for Rail, said "I am pleased to see the publication of the new Assisted Travel Policy created in conjunction with advice to the Williams Rail Review is clearly aimed at improving the experience of assisted travel for passengers who use rail services. Operators will now be required to introduce measures to improve the reliability of assisted travel. This will, importantly, strengthen the disability awareness training provided to staff; an important factor aimed at better Turn up and Go travel is included by reducing the amount of notice passengers can be required to provide when requesting booked assistance, from the current maximum of 24 hours to 2 hours by 2022, and this is underpinned by the provision of redress when assistance is not provided as booked. It is important that companies do not delay the implementation of the guidance and recognise the social requirements and commercial benefits of ensuring disabled passengers can see improvements to assisted travel as soon as possible."

More information can be accessed by clicking here.