Survey introduction

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) are currently consulting on a new Assisted Travel Policy for disabled passengers for the rail industry.

This survey is designed to seek your feedback on some of the ORR’s key proposals; creating a new passenger information leaflet, and classifying the accessibility of stations.

We would also very much welcome your opinions or feedback on any other consultation proposals, and the ORR’s questions in relation to these, that you would like to comment on.

The attached background document sets out further details of the ORR’s proposals, links to all the consultation documents and the full list of consultation questions. 

Your responses will inform Shaw Trust’s response to the ORR’s consultation which is due in January.

We would be grateful to receive your survey responses by the end of the day on Friday 11 January.

Summary of ORR’s proposals

Increase the reliability of assistance for disabled passengers by introducing a new standardised handover process for all GB mainline stations. This will work in tandem with new arrangements to strengthen communication between stations and measures to introduce greater accountability for assistance provision.
Improve accessible journey planning by standardising key station accessibility information on facilities, step-free access and staffing to provide a better and more accurate picture of what disabled passengers can expect at each station.
Reduce the notice period for booking assistance, currently up to 24 hours before travel, we are consulting on three options for passengers; booking by 10pm the night before travel, booking a minimum of 6 hours before travel and booking a minimum of 2 hours before travel.
Ensure all train companies provide compensation to passengers if they do not receive the assistance they have booked.
Standardise and improve information for passengers including a more concise passenger leaflet focused on what to expect before travelling, at the station, on the train and if things go wrong. ORR is also recommending the Rail Delivery Group promote Assisted Travel to the people who would benefit from this service but do not currently travel by rail.
Strengthen train and station operators’ staff training including involving disabled people in its delivery and requiring staff to have refresher training at least every two years. This would ensure disabled passengers, including those with hidden disabilities, receive a better, more consistent service from all staff whether they book assistance in advance or travel spontaneously.

Question Title

* 1. Question 1: Do you have any suggestions/comments on the proposed Passenger information leaflet’s:

-       Content and structure

-       Additional information

-        Title

-       Accessibility (e.g. in terms of design, availability and distribution and accessible formats)

Question Title

* 2. -        Classification of station accessibility

The ORR is proposing to add a new requirement to guidance standardising station accessibility in classifications from A to E, which will be used by all station operators.  These are defined below:

-        A: step-free to new-build standards

-        B: useable* step-free access to all platforms (*defined)

NB – Shaw Trust has concerns about ORR’s definition of ‘useable’ under this category. We would suggest that whether access is usable depends on a passenger’s disability/access needs, and not all passengers will be able to use what is catagorised as step free access at category B stations. We are suggesting to ORR that detailed information will need to be provided to disabled passengers wanting to use category B stations.     

-        C: suboptimal* step-free access to all platforms (*defined)

-        D: step-free to some but not all platforms; and

-        E: no step-free access.

These classifications are set out in more detail in the revised guidance for train and station operators (Appendix B).

 Question 2: Do you agree with this proposed classification system for stations, and do you have any thoughts on how it should be refined?

Question Title

* 3. Question 3: Do you have any additional thoughts on station accessibility information/classifications that should be contained within the guidance?

Question Title

* 4. Question 4: Do you have any further comments in response to the consultation questions or and/or the ORR’s proposals that you would like Shaw Trust to include in our consultation response? (the attached document summerises the ORR’s proposals, provides links to all the consultation documents and lists all 25 consultation questions)