Disabled Persons Railcard News
Record sales for the Disabled Persons Railcard
The Disabled Persons Railcard, which gives holders 1/3 off most National Rail fares, has seen record sales this year to date. Despite the economic downturn, Railcard holder numbers have increased by 25% over the past two years, with 1 in 3 customers taking advantage of the three-year Railcard. There are now over 115,000 Railcard holders making the most of their discounts with 3.2m journeys across the National Rail network in 2009/10. The Railcard offers great value for money with cardholders saving over £90 on average this past year.
More than just great savings on rail travel
As well as offering 1/3 off rail travel for the cardholder and a friend, the Disabled Persons Railcard offers a range of great value discount offers. Cardholders can take advantage of 10% off hotel bookings with Octopus Travel, a free Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, up to 35% off weekend breaks with InterContinental Hotels, 1/3 off Mobilise membership, £2 off OpenBritain and OpenLondon Guides plus many more offers. See www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk for more details on the special offers available to cardholders.
Refreshed Disabled Persons Railcard website launched
The Disabled Persons Railcard website – www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk – has had a refresh to make it even easier for new and existing Railcard holders to find the information they need. As well as providing key details of the Railcard, the website provides disabled passengers with information about travelling by train and keeps cardholders up-to-date on the latest news and special offers. The number of visitors to the website is growing, with over 260,000 visitors to the site in the past 12 months. We are happy for organisations to provide a link to the Disabled Persons Railcard websi! te on their own website and if you would like more than a text link, then we can provide copy, graphics and/or online banners - just send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disabled Persons Railcard posters & leaflets
While there are 115,000 people getting the benefit of 1/3 off their rail fares with a Disabled Persons Railcard, there are still many people who qualify but are unaware of the Railcard. If you want to provide Disabled Persons Railcard information to your customers or contacts, we have leaflets and posters available to order from the Disabled Persons Railcard Office. Simply send your order and postal address to email@example.com.
Rail Industry News
Stations Made Easy proves popular
Launched in November 2009, Stations Made Easy is an interactive tool on the National Rail website that helps customers to view the station layout before they arrive and, where possible, plan the easiest route around the station. In the past six months, there have been over 800,000 visitors to Stations Made Easy and nearly 500,000 individual routes planned.
Over 2,500 National Rail stations have been photographed (a total of 700,000 photographs taken nationwide) to provide step by step guides, plus interactive maps showing station facilities, including ticket machines, toilets, taxi points, shops and bars. Jointly funded by train companies, the Department for Transport, Transport for Scotland and Network Rail, Stations Made Easy aims to encourage more people to use the train by improving access for passengers with limited mobility. Check out the Stations Made Easy interactive map and journey planner for your local station at www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations.
When new stations are opened or major developments are completed at existing stations, Stations Made Easy is updated with the latest maps, photos and information. Since January 2010, new stations on the East London line, East Midlands Parkway, Aylesbury Vale, Corby, Imperial Wharf, Laurencekirk, Rutherglen, Dunlop and Stewarton have all been added to Stations Made Easy.
National Rail powered scooter policy review
Like trains, powered scooters come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so creating a one size fits all policy for the carriage of scooters on trains is simply not possible. There are a variety of challenges when it comes to carrying scooters on trains, including tipping backwards on ramps, being heavier than the ramp's safe working load and being the wrong shape to move safely inside a carriage. These problems mean that some train companies cannot carry scooters and size restrictions are in place on other train companies’ services. Train companies are reviewing the range of scooter policies with the aim of simplifying restrictions for scooter users. Further information will be available in early 2011.
Disabled People’s Protection Policies (DPPP) reissued
Train companies are reviewing their DPPPs following publication of the Department for Transport’s “How to Write Your Disabled People's Protection Policy” guidance in late 2009. Each train company has its own DPPP which is available to passengers and sets out services provided for disabled travellers. Copies of individual train company DPPPs can be downloaded from their websites or collected at stations.
Better access to Welsh stations
A planned £21m boost to improve train stations across west Wales and the Valleys under the Wales Enhanced Station Improvement plans will mean many stations will benefit from improvements including better access for disabled people. The aim is to increase use of rail services for a wide range of customers including those with disabilities. All works are due for completion by 2014 and will ensure more stations are DDA compliant or facilitate wheelchair access to trains.
London Crossrail accessibility
With funding for London’s Crossrail project approved and development well underway, it’s positive to note that the Crossrail development will improve accessibility at key interchange stations along the route running from Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex. The plan is to have step-free access from street level to platforms at 28 of the 37 Crossrail stations and step-free access at interchanges with National Rail and London Underground stations wherever possible.
Stratford Regional Station for 2012 Olympics
Stratford will be the main arrival point for spectators going to the Olympic Park on National Rail services. The Olympic Delivery Authority is investing more than £100m in major works. The upgrade will boost accessibility and capacity at the station, including better signage, more lift capacity, highlighted steps, tactile paving and lift access to new platforms and National Rail platforms not currently accessible.
Train Company News
Southern’s Priority Seat Cards win top rail award
Southern is celebrating a record four wins at the recent National Rail Awards, including the Putting Passengers First award for their Priority Seat Cards. Acting on passenger suggestions, Southern launched Priority Seat Cards in September 2009 and it has proved particularly effective for those whose need for a seat is not always obvious. Since its introduction, the number of cardholders has doubled and continues to increase.
Edinburgh Haymarket station improvements
Work is taking place on installation of two lifts and automatic doors at Edinburgh Haymarket station. The lifts will connect the footbridge with platforms 2/3 and platform 4. Platforms 0 and 1 already have step-free access. The work is due to be completed by December 2010. ScotRail deputy managing director Kenny McPhail said, "The lifts will make Haymarket fully accessible for people with restricted mobility or heavy luggage at a time when higher numbers of passengers will be using the station.”
East Anglia stations
National Express train companies, National Express East Anglia and c2c, are working in partnership with Network Rail to improve customer facilities at seven Essex rail stations with funding from the Department for Transport’s National Stations Improvement Programme. The improvements at the stations, including Billericay, Colchester and Shoeburyness, will focus on new and improved ticket office and booking hall areas, new waiting shelters and retail outlets, improvements to station accessibility and station forecourts.
Chiltern Railways participating in mobility initiative
Chiltern Railways is supporting Hillingdon Council’s Brown Badge scheme by offering two Brown Badge priority parking spaces at West Ruislip station. The scheme is the first of its kind in the country and part of the council’s ongoing efforts to improve parking facilities for Hillingdon residents and provide easily accessible parking places for those who are elderly and may have mobility problems.
If you would like more detailed information about any of these projects, please contact David Sindall, ATOC Head of Disability & Inclusion – firstname.lastname@example.org or Cath Lyver, National Rail Marketing Manager – email: email@example.com.