London Turn Up and Go trial for disabled passengers
Disabled passengers are being invited to ‘turn up and go’ at National Rail stations in and around London without having to book assistance in a trial scheme launched by the rail industry.
From today, passengers at more than 30 rail stations in the capital will be the first to sample a new dedicated service for people who need assistance such as ramps, that allows them to turn up and catch the train they want to without booking ahead.
The six-month London Turn up & Go trial follows research and work with disabled passengers and will cover journeys between 36 stations.
Train companies generally advise disabled passengers to book assistance at least 24 hours before travelling to help ensure the correct help and support is available. The Turn Up & Go service, however, offers help for people such as wheelchair users whether they choose to book in advance or not.
All stations in the scheme have level access to platforms and staff available during the hours that trains run to put in place the required assistance.
Around 70million journeys were made by disabled passengers nationwide last year, but less than one per cent of those involved pre-booked assistance.
More and more disabled people are choosing to travel by train, with 12 per cent more Disabled Persons Railcards issued in the last year and 12 per cent more journeys across the country.
David Sindall, Head of Disability & Inclusion for the Rail Delivery Group which represents train operators and Network Rail and which is trialling the new service, said:
“Many disabled Londoners already go by rail without booking assistance but we know that many more would like the extra confidence that catching a train can be a spontaneous decision for them.
“Our Turn Up and Go scheme, being trialled in London, aims to give disabled passengers more choice and lets them make last-minute travel plans. The trial will help us assess whether a similar London-wide scheme is feasible in the future.
“Rail services are now far more accessible than ever, and we are committed to continuing to make travel by train an attractive prospect for disabled people.”
Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said:
“The Mayor has made improved transport accessibility one of his top priorities, which is why he set out to deliver Turn Up and Go services on London Overground. We know that it has been really well received since its launch last year and we’ve been working with train operators to encourage a wider roll out of Turn Up and Go across suburban train services.
“I’m delighted that more people will soon be able to travel by train more easily and without the need to book ahead.”
Disabled passengers can still book assistance in advance at Turn Up & Go stations if they wish and will have priority.
Notes to editors
London Turn up & Go partners are: Abellio Greater Anglia; c2c; Network Rail; Southern; Southeastern; and South West Trains.
For more information about assistance for disabled passengers, go to www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/disabled_passengers.aspx.