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Office of Rail and Road announces new safeguarding measures

05 October 2020

The Office of Rail and Road has announced new safeguarding measures which will improve reliability for requests for passenger assistance on Britain's railways.

The new scheme, following a successful trial by Network Rail, GTR and South West Railway, focuses on improving and simplifying the way staff communicate and coordinate passenger assistance between stations, which should help prevent assistance failures and drive up the reliability of the service."

Going forward, train and station operators will have a dedicated assistance telephone number for every station, and a 'Responsible Person' for every station whose job is to ensure that when those calls are answered, essential information in properly gathered, such as the passenger's assistance need, what train they are travelling on and their location on the train.

DR UK Ambassador and government rail sector champion, Stephen Brookes said: "We regularly hear complaints from disabled people using assisted travel, about there assistance breaking down.

"Assisted travel can fail at interchange stations where a change of trains or a change of train company is involved. Also,  information on delays to interconnecting services is sometimes not communicated to either passengers or staff.

" Information failures can result in assistance staff not being in the right place at the right time to deliver alighting assistance.

The changes being made are very welcome and we will be monitoring progress and hoping to see real improvements for disabled people using the railways.