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Replacement train travel must be accessible – ORR guidance

16 September 2020

Train operators will now have to make better provision for disabled passengers during rail disruption such as engineering works, according to new guidance published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

There is also a requirement for improved information so that passengers know where and when accessible vehicles will be operated.

Recently, buses have often been accessible for people with physical disabilities, but coaches have not. 

As the regulator, ORR expects all train operators to take appropriate steps to comply with Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) and is working with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) which enforces these regulations.

The new guidance now requires:

* New rules to ensure that train operators using rail replacement services seek to secure accessible vehicles from bus and coach companies.

* Improved passenger information during disruption to ensure passengers know where and when accessible buses and coaches will be operated.

* Reinforcement of an existing requirement that where needed, passengers are offered an appropriate alternative arrangement, including a different form of accessible road transport such as a taxi.

* For planned disruption, a new requirement has been introduced that waiting times for rail replacement services should be similar, irrespective of whether the vehicle used is a bus, coach, taxi or other alternative.

DR UK’s Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “These changes are long overdue and to be welcomed.” Read more here:

https://www.orr.gov.uk/search-news/orr-updates-guidance-improve-disabled-passengers-experience-rail-replacement-services