Improving accessibility across bus and rail

It is critical as a public transport operator that we empower our passengers to feel confident in using our services. 9b. Helping Hand for Drivers and Customers - Please lower the ramp B.jpg

Go-Ahead's rail and bus operators are committed to supporting travel for all. 

All our bus and rail services are fully accessible for wheelchairs and all colleagues in customer-facing roles must undertake disability awareness training.

However, we know there is even more we can do to improve people's experiences.  Brighton & Hove Buses received the Highest Leader status under the Department for Transport Leaders Scheme in 2020 - one of only two operators to achieve this feat.

Accessibility initiatives at Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus include:

  • A 'Helping Hand' scheme that customers can discreetly and directly provide to a bus driver with written instructions - such as "Please face me, I lip read", "I have epilepsy" and "Please call out my stop" (read here)
  • Ensuring all buses have dementia-friendly floors, with all colleagues being trained as Dementia Friends
  • Opening travel shops as 'safe havens' 

Meanwhile, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Southeastern and Go North East all recognise the sunflower lanyard scheme. By wearing a sunflower lanyard, passengers can signal to our colleagues that they may need extra assistance.  The scheme was first rolled out by Southeastern in 2019 and became a rail industry standard in 2020.

In 2021, Southeastern announced further measures to improve accessibility, including:

  • The creation of a Passenger Accessibility Panel, led by triple Paralympian Andy Barrow
  • The introduction of a new, roving Mobile Assistance role
  • The launch of a brand new and accessible app that signposts toilet availability on trains and lift availabilities in stations

Find out more

Meanwhile, GTR has also set out numerous accessibility improvements in 2021, which include:

  • Retraining all colleagues (both customer and non-customer facing) in better accessibility training
  • A goal to reduce the time needed for pre-booked assistance on trains
  • New mobile support teams to reach 41 staffed or partly-staffed stations 
  • Clearer signposting at 38 of GTR's larger stations to show people where to find assisted travel information, such as ticketing and timetabling.

Find out more

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