TfW Accessible Travel Policy

Submitted by content-admin on Thu, 08/12/2021 - 10:36

A. Commitments To Providing Assistance

Operating as TFW Rail Ltd. (Transport for Wales Rail Ltd).

TfW are committed to providing rail services of the highest standard of Accessibility and Customer service for all our customers and stakeholders. Ensuring our aspirations for customer inclusion and independence is evident through our actions and achievements.

Each license provider is required to review and publish annually their Accessible Transport Policy document, designed to complement the concise customer leaflet entitled, ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping Older, and Disabled Passengers’ available at all staffed stations, as well as on our website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel.

Our TfW Accessible Travel Policy (ATP) setting out our policies and approach towards providing assistance for customers with restricted mobility or requiring assistance, for example:

  • those with visual or auditory impairments or learning disabilities
  • those whose mobility is impaired as a result of arthritis or other temporary or longterm conditions
  • those with non-visible disabilities which may not be immediately apparent to others;
  • older people
  • those accompanying disabled children in pushchairs or wheelchairs
  • disabled customers requiring assistance with luggage

In this document we provide information to help you understand how we plan to meet your expectations when you are using our services including travelling with us. We will explain how to find details of the assistance, facilities and information you will need to help you to
plan your journey.

This policy also outlines our commitment to providing assistance and meet the requirements of a range of legislation and guidance; including -

  • The DfT’s current ‘Design Standards for Accessible Railway Stations: A Code of Practice’ (the Code of Practice)
  • The Equality Act 2010,
  • The Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 1998 (RVAR),

The Technical Specification on Interoperability: Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM-TSI).

A1 Booking And Providing Assistance

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to travel with us and offer a range of assistance if you have access needs.

 

Booking Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel Passenger

Assist is a national system supported by all train operating companies, which helps operators to arrange passenger assistance for disabled customers or customers with restricted mobility. We are committed to this system and we have a specialist team who will provide journey advice, help you book assistance across the whole UK Rail Network, buy your tickets in advance and reserve seats / space on our trains and at our stations.

Passenger Assist phone team is available between 8 am to 10 pm every day (except Christmas Day) or you can use our online booking process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except Christmas Day). (Please see section C for contact details).

We'll always do our best to help you whether you're travelling at short notice or have booked assistance in advance. For the most effective service, we recommend booking and reserving assistance 10 hours before you travel (you can book further in advance if you prefer). There are several ways to book:

  • Online when you book your tickets: choose the help you need from our range of options (available 24 hours a day).
  • Online using our book assistance form (available 24 hours a day).
  • By phone: call our Passenger Assist team on 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)
  • By Next Generation Text: call our Passenger Assist team via text relay service on 18001 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)
  • Visit our website: tfwrail.wales
  • Assisted Travel team can also sell you tickets and reserve a seat or wheelchair space for journeys across the National Rail network.

For National Rail: -

  • Tel: 03457 48 49 50 or 0800 0223720 (Open 24 hours every day except Christmas Day)
  • Website: nationalrail.co.uk Text Direct: 0345 60 50 600: (for people who are hard of hearing or deaf) Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and may be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way.

 

Assisted Travel Without Booking

You can turn up at any station that is accessible to you and request assistance onto a train from a member of our station or train staff, or you can call for assistance via a Help Point phone 24 hours a day 7 days a week (except 25 and 26 December).

If you cannot book assisted travel in advance, we will still provide help if possible but this may take longer to arrange. Please speak to a member of station staff and they will help you get on your intended train or the next available one. Please arrive at least 20 minutes before the time of your intended train so that staff can make arrangements to escort you to the platform in plenty of time to board your train.

While on board the train, if you require assistance please ask the conductor. All our trains staffed by conductors who regularly pass through the carriage and are very happy to assist in any way they can.

Detailed information about the accessibility features of our stations is available by contacting our Assisted Travel team, National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) and our Station Accessibility Information available through using the following link https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility (for contact details please see section C)

 

Assistance At Part-Staffed And Unstaffed Stations

At stations where there are no staff to help you; our conductors can help you to get on and off the train (for example, by using the on-board ramp). In this case, you need to be on the platform before the train arrives and in a comfortable amount of time for you.

Once you have been assisted in boarding a train, our staff will communicate with the ontrain staff and destination station staff, as appropriate, to ensure you are provided with assistance to alight the train. Our Passenger Assist communication system will track assistance provided throughout the journey through our Zebra staff mobile and app technology.

Where assistance has not been arranged in advance, please speak with a member of our station or train staff or, at an unstaffed station, use the Help Point, and we will do everything we can to help you with your journey.

Please note. Our Passenger Assist booking team consider a number of factors to ensure the accessibility of our services and customer safety, including the level of accessibility at the station in relation to the type of assistance you will need. Our teams will suggest alternative arrangements If our team believes there is any risk of you not being provided with sufficient assistance at a particular station or stage of your journey. Therefore, they will work with you, listening and discuss your needs. Providing a tailored approach to alternative journey planning , booking passenger assistance or public transport or any assistance necessary to get you to your destination. This may include accessible taxi provision.

We also make sure that the arrangements for providing help at any station are shown on the TfW Station Accessibility Information https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Representatives team (Please See section C) On each station’s page of the National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk)

 

Assistance Staff

In addition to all our stations and trains operational staff who are always on hand to provide assistance across the network. We also have additional customer assistance initiatives (Customer Ambassadors and Passenger Assist staff).

Customer Ambassadors, operate during core hours; providing a highly visible presence by working in designated zones across the station to maximise customer interaction and manage key points. Promoting customer standards and responding to general customer enquiries to a high level across the whole station, liaising with other staff to maximise customer satisfaction.

Passenger Assist staff are currently available in Cardiff and Chester. These specially trained staff are recognisable by their blue tabards these and provide assistance for anyone identifying as disabled or generally requiring a helping hand to use services and station.

 

Booking Passenger Assist- Future Improvements.

The rail industry is constantly improving to address the needs of its customers. The Passenger Assist national system supported by all train operating companies is one such example.

TfW currently permit passengers to book assistance through Passenger Assist until 10pm the day before travel.

TfWRail is committed to the industry’s regulated procedure to progressively reduce the notice period needed for booked passenger assistance:

  • From 1 April 2020 until 30 March 2021, permit passengers to book assistance through Passenger Assist until 10pm the day before travel.
  • From 1 April 2021 not require passengers to give more than 6 hours’ notice when booking through Passenger Assist.
  • From 1 April 2022, not require passengers to give more than 2 hours’ notice when booking through Passenger Assist.

 

Handover Protocol

As part of a national commitment between Rail Service Providers; from June 2020 TfW will deliver a standard procedure for communicating any passenger assistance across the UK. Formally ensuring that the correct information is communicated from the boarding to the alighting station; giving passengers confidence that they will receive the required assistance at all stages of their journey.

Part of this protocol will be for every station to have a passenger assistance telephone number with employees responsible for receiving and managing the calls.

 

TfW Current Handover Process

  • Booked Passenger Assist – Calling the relevant station dedicated number. Station teams will call ahead to the relevant station if the person has booked assistance to let the destination know the customer is on their way. This process uses mobile phones / CISCO phones which allows TfW to log the call within the memory of the phone.
  • Un-booked Passenger Assist - If the person has not booked passenger assist. Station teams will call ahead to the next station, change or destination to let them know. Again, This process uses mobile phones / CISCO dedicated phone which allows TfW to log the call within the memory of the phone Unstaffed Stations - If the destination / change station is an unstaffed station. It is the conductors responsibility to assist the customer on or off the train. Please note that conductors can only assist customers on or off trains and are not able to provide any other assistance from that point (i.e. not to the gate line etc).

Furthermore, Stations Connect is also used as a safe guard in the event of limited network coverage. All staff have access to all station’s numbers stored locally in their mobile phones / cisco phones or paper logs held within the office In respect of TfW stations; stations teams will call the platform/ station office number. In all processes mobile phones or CISCO phone systems are utilised to allow TfW to log and record journey details.

 

Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel Team Can:

Our Passenger Assist phone team is available between 8 am to 10 pm every day (except Christmas Day) or you can use our online booking process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except Christmas Day). They can provide journey planning advice, help you book Passenger assist assisted travel, help you buy tickets in advance and reserve a seat or wheelchair space for journeys across the National Rail network (Please see section C for contact details).

In respect of other rail operators, passenger assist will be able to advise customers regarding some Rail Operators limitations to reservation systems.

 

Passenger Assist, Travel Services

If you book Passenger Assist assisted travel in advance, we can arrange for a conductor or station staff to help you on and off the train at any station during the hours when trains are due to stop at them. When you book assisted travel we can arrange the following;

  • Making a ramp available to get you on and off the train
  • Guiding you through the station and on or off the train
  • Finding you a seat on the train
  • Reserving a seat or wheelchair space
  • Help with making connections with other train companies in one single booking
  • Help with luggage (see section A7 Station Facilities)

If you do not book Passenger Assist assisted travel in advance, when you arrive at a station we will do our best to help in a timely as possible manner.

If a station is not staffed when you need help, we can still help you to make your journey, with as much of your trip as possible by rail.

Please note: - You cannot use the Passenger Assist service for international journeys or journeys to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. For onward travel by air, ferry or Eurostar (into Europe) you will need to contact that transport provider about arranging help.

 

Ramps

Our current trains are accessible via portable ramps positioned at our staffed stations and on all our trains. Further information about facilities on our train fleet can be found at: https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/policies-and-information.

The ramps are specifically designed for helping customers with disabilities on to and off the trains and are regularly inspected to ensure your safety. Our staff can use these ramps to help you even if you have not booked assistance.

If you have booked assistance to board or alight from an unstaffed station our conductors will use either the on board ramps or ramps present at platforms to assist you.. This will be discussed with you at the time of booking. If you have not booked assistance, please tell a member of station staff or staff on the train that you require assistance and they will provide the ramp and help you board or disembark. Please note that all our trains are staffed by conductors who also manage the train on platforms, check for and assist customers on and off the train. Staff are always happy to assist.

Our Newest trains arriving in 2020 have built in ramps which deploy automatically when the train reaches the station and comes to a stop at the platform edge. These built in train ramps will at the majority of our stations afford step free access into and off our new trains. Where built in ramps are not suitable, step free access will be provided through the use of portable ramps. Carriages with accessible wheelchair spaces are identifiable through the use of a blue coloured panel and ‘wheelchair’ accessible symbol above the exterior door.

 

Changes in Arrangements

During the course of your journey, our staff are trained to assist all of our customers and they will communicate news of any service disruption and provision of alternative transport via the customer information systems or, where possible to you in person.

This includes providing aural and visual information and then a check to see if there are customers who either seem not to have understood the announcements or are likely to have difficulties in light of the announcements (for example, changing platforms).

Taking their other duties (such as train dispatch) into consideration they will then do all that is reasonably possible to assist you. Help Points are also provided at all of our staffed and unstaffed stations in prominent locations offering a link to our Control Centre 24 hours, 7 days a week (except Christmas Day), who will also be able to assist you in continuing your journey through arranging assistance or onward travel via taxi or Bus.

Sometimes a train’s departure platform must be changed, often at short notice. Such a change will be shown on the customer information screens and will be announced aurally as soon as possible. When a change occurs, our staff will provide assistance and information to help you reach the revised departure platform, if accessible, as efficiently as possible. If the platform is not accessible, we will arrange alternative transport i.e. taxi, to the nearest accessible station.

 

Seats / Wheelchair Space On Trains

We are able to offer seat / wheelchair space reservations across our Network to all passengers, including those with disabilities. Priority seating (which has extra legroom and situated near the doors) are available on most of our trains (please our Train Accessibility Information https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/train-accessibility).

Where our current fleet allows we are able to reserve wheelchair spaces and our on board staff will assist in ensuring these dedicated spaces give wheelchair users first priority. (For more information on our fleet please see our website at (https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/train-accessibilit).

Our staff on the train, are equipped with smart devices to receive information regarding assistance booked in advance, to ensure they are aware of any seating requirements. If assistance is booked, we will advise whether a seat has been reserved when you book. If you are with companions and/or family members, we will do our best to provide them seats close to yours In particular, we will aim to ensure that family groups, especially those requiring adult supervision, are located in close proximity.

 

If You’re An Expecting Mother / Pregnant

We offer the Baby on Board scheme in recognition of the difficulties that standing on a train can present for some pregnant and expectant mothers. Intended to make travelling by train easier; we provide “Baby on Board” badges. This to encourage other passengers to offer up their seats when they spot an expecting mother / pregnant customer wearing a “Baby on Board” badge. To apply simply contact our customer relations team (contact details can be found in section C).

 

Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs are welcomed on our fleet and at all stations. If you have an assistance dog, you can get a reusable card to place in the reservation holder on top of the seat next to yours. This is a highly visible card that informs other customers that the space in front of that seat is reserved for an assistance dog. The cards are free of charge from the Customer Relations team. Where available the Passenger Assist team can reserve two seats – one for you and the other for an assistance dog to lie in front of you (for contact details please see section C).

 

To Taxis And Other Transport

At stations with assistance staff, they can help passengers to taxis or the designated pick-up point if within the stations boundary. If you have not booked assisted travel, please ask a member of platform staff. They will be happy to help, but there might be a delay. At Holyhead station, we can help you to the ferry check-in desk.

 

Assistance with luggage

We will provide help with luggage, free of charge, if you have booked assistance in advance. However, we do not employ staff solely to carry customers’ luggage and if you have not booked assistance, platform staff may have to attend to train safety before they can help you. Please bear in mind the weight, size and quantity of luggage and do not exceed the limits in the National Rail Conditions of Travel luggage policy, as our staff must be able to lift the item(s) safely. For more information on luggage please see; https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/National%20Rail%20Conditions%20of%20Travel.pdf

 

Assistance During Special Events

We make sure that specific arrangements are made for passengers needing help at any station when a special event is taking place nearby (especially at Cardiff Central and Chester stations). We also make sure that the arrangements for providing help at any station are available on the TfW Station Accessibility Information https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Representatives team (Please See section C) and on each station’s page of the National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk)

 

Orange Wallet Scheme

We support the Orange Wallet Scheme, which is funded by the Welsh Government. The scheme aims to help people with a range of non-visible disabilities use public transport more easily. The wallet contains a space which can be written on and personalised to help passengers communicate their needs to staff. It can also be a helpful tool for people with non-visible impairments (that is, disabilities and difficulties that may not be obvious to others). All our staff are aware of the Orange wallet and trained in how it can be of assistance to our Customers. You can get a wallet from the Customer Relations team (Please see Section C). for more information please follow this link https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel

 

Sunflower Lanyards ‘hidden disabilities’

TfW actively support the sunflower Lanyard scheme. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard is a discreet way for adults and children with hidden / non- visible disabilities to show that they need additional support or just a little more time. All our staff are aware of the Sunflower Lanyard and trained in how it can be of assistance to our Customers. Sunflower lanyards are available free of charge at our ticket offices in Cardiff Central, Newport, Swansea, Bridgend, Carmarthen, Tenby, Chester and Shrewsbury. You can also get a Sunflower Lanyard from the Customer Relations team (Please see Section C for contact details). For more information please follow this link https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel or visit https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/

A2 Information Provision

We are committed to providing our customers and stakeholders with information that is accessible, accurate, relevant, consistent, up-to- date and easy to understand. We want to provide you with assurance and confidence at every stage of your journey, including when TfW Accessible Travel Policy 10 planning your journey door to door, prior to your departure including if your journey will involve a change of train or transfer to another mode of transport.

 

A2.1 Accessible Travel Policy Documentation Including Alternative Formats

To accompany this Accessible Travel Policy document, we have produced a shorter and more concise leaflet to help in planning your journey, entitled ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older, and disabled passengers.’; both documents are available in alternative formats. The ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older, and disabled passengers’ leaflet is also available from our ticket offices and leaflet racks at all staffed stations called at by our services. It is also available online as a PDF on our website at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/policies-and-information and a read only Microsoft text version which is accessible using screen readers or other software with accessibility features.

Our stakeholder managers and community partnership teams will also ensure that local authorities, government agencies and accessibility groups across our TfW Network are provided with copies of the leaflet for them to distribute at locations where public services are provided (e.g. libraries, GP surgeries, job centres, Citizens Advice bureaux, hospitals and post offices).

We will also ensure that we provide notices at each of our managed stations setting out how to obtain the leaflet and the policy document.

All our documentation conforms to the Welsh language standards / Welsh Language act and are available Bilingually.

Alternative formats of all our document are free of charge, from the Customer Relations team.

The team can provide alternative formats such as large print, Braille or audio versions. We will provide the large-print document within seven days of receiving your request, and any other formats as soon as possible.

If you would like copies of these guides or any other TfW services publications in an alternative format, please contact us in the following ways

 

A2.2: Stations And Train Accessibility Information

We will ensure that accessibility information relating to our stations and trains is easily available to you, is accurate and kept up-to-date.

To do this we will keep this information in an online format, attached to the online version of this policy document via the following https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility. This information can be easily accessed on a range of mobile formats and personal mobile devices and is provided in accessible formats. Alternatively, it is available in a range of formats through contacting our Customer relations Team (Please see Section C)

This information will also be provided to the National Rail Enquiries website and Journey Check systems to ensure consistency of information. Our station and train staff will also be able to provide you with the same up-to-date information on request through their smart devices(Journey check system, which upon registering provides real time, up-to-date train times, train disruption information, station facilities, lifts, toilets, ‘out of order’ status across your intended journey. Keeping you informed about any delays or disruptions via email or SMS alerts www.journeycheck.com/tfwrail/

Additionally please see the National Rail Accessibility Map. Available at the following link www.accessmap.nationalrail.co.uk. This map contains information about the accessibility of each station on the UK Rail Network, including if a station is step free, the availability of accessible toilets and if the station has changing places facilities.

Station Accessibility Categories

Detailed information about the TfW Stations Accessibility is available by contacting our TfW Customer Relations team (Please see Section C) of from our website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility

Which provides detailed information about the accessibility of our stations; including step free access classification, as outlined below

TfW are committed to following the industry step free classification system as explained in Office of Rail and Road (ORR) Accessible Travel Policy guidance:

  • Category A: "This station has step-free access to all platforms / the platform"
  •  Category B: "This station has a degree of step-free access to the platform, which may be in both directions or in one direction only - please check details"
  • Category C: "This station does not have step-free access to any platform."

(Office Of Rail And Road (ORR) Accessible Travel Policy guidance can be obtained at the following link - https://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/41517/accessible-travelpolicy-guidance-for-train-and-station-operators.pdf) Information about the whole UK network of stations is available on the National Rail Enquiries website (Please See Section C for Details)

Station Accessibility Information

For information on whether the following accessible services and facilities are available at our stations please see our website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or covering:

  • Disabled Parking
  • Accessible Set Down and Pick-Up Points
  • Ticket office opening hours
  • Induction Loops
  • Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs)
  • Help Points on Platforms.
  • Catering Facilities
  • Accessible Toilets
  • National Key Toilets
  • Accessible Waterproof Waiting Facilities
  • Meeting Points for Assistance
  • Staffed Customer Information Points
  • Staffing Hours/Assistance Availability
  • Ramp for Train Access on Train Staff Will Provide
  • Level of Platform Accessibility
  • Wheelchair Availability
  • Tactile Paving
  • Customer Information Systems
  • Secure Station Accreditation

For alternative sources of this information please contact our customer relations team (Please See Section C) or The National Rail Enquiries website (nationalrail.co.uk) and the station layout guide (‘Stations Made Easy’) contain useful information about the accessibility of facilities and services at stations and on trains.

Train Accessibility Information

On our website at (https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/train-accessibility) we provide an overview of each type of rolling stock used on the TfW Network including information on the general accessibility of each type and details of the routes on which different types of rolling stock are normally scheduled to run. Details will include: -

  • Wheelchair Accessible space
  • Scooter / mobility aid Acceptance / Accessible
  • Accessible toilet
  • Standard toilet
  • Boarding ramp
  • Priority seating
  • Aural information 
  • Visual information
  • On-train staff to provide assistance

 

A2.3 Passenger Journey Information

We are aware that the importance of information to all rail users is important, but especially to those who use the TfW Network less frequently. With customers being unfamiliar or not knowing where or how to access important information, particularly during times of service disruption. This section explains how we communicate to all our customers accurate, clear and consistent information, at every stage of the passenger journey - whether at home, online, on the move, at the station or on the train.

Train Departures And Arrivals

All our audio and visual information is clearly and constantly communicated to our customers. Providing information about train departures and train arrivals on your approach to stations, at station entrances, within the station and on the platforms Similarly, departures and arrivals where available is provided on train, via the conductor, intercom announcements and scrolling display screens. Providing you with sufficient time for you to request assistance if required and safely alight. This is further enhanced through station announcements, information screens and staff support.

Stations – Aural And Visual Information

Many of our stations have a combination of customer information screens (CIS) and automated public announcements providing accurate, clear and consistent aural and visual information. All CIS screens provide information bilingually. Sometimes a train’s departure platform must be changed – often at short notice. The platform number will flash on the CIS screen to indicate that it has changed and the same information will be announced aurally as soon as possible. When a change occurs, our staff will provide assistance and information to help you reach the revised departure platform, if accessible, as efficiently as possible. If the platform is not accessible, we will arrange alternative transport i.e. taxi, to the nearest accessible station.

We have an ongoing program to update and install Help Points with Hearing Loops at all of our stations including our unstaffed stations. This ensures that all of our stations have Help Points that are linked to our 24/7 Control Centre, to ensure that service information is always available, especially during times of disruption. We are also introducing ‘InterpreterNow’ a live BSL video systems to better assist our BSL using customer during their time in our stations and on our trains. This will enable hearing staff and BSL users to communicate better, assisting us to relay changes to our services and address any concerns that customers may have.

Trains – Aural And Visual Information

We are committed to providing bilingual automated audio / aural and visual travel information in a variety of means so that it can be accessed as easily as possible. All trains have on board staff who are issued with a standards guide for announcements. Our onboard staff are trained to give announcements on all services that do not have pre-recorded announcements. If your disability means that you are unable to hear the on-board announcements, please alert a member of staff so that alternative arrangements can be made. They are on hand to help.

Our trains are equipped with public address systems to provide audio/aural announcements. Some trains, but not all are equipped with a customer information system that uses visual displays. Where these systems are installed, we strive to ensure that they comply with the standards set out in the Technical Specification for Interoperability, Persons with Reduced Mobility (2014), or ‘PRM-TSI’ for short, which relates to achieving consistent levels of accessibility across the European Union's rail system.

We recognise that good announcements are essential to you. Many of our staff are bilingual and are trained to speak clearly, distinctly and in a concise, confident manner. When possible at termination stations staff will make their first announcement five minutes before the train departs, and repeat it one to two minutes before departure. Whenever possible, two minutes before arriving at each station (unless it is shown as ‘pick-up’ only in the timetable), an announcement will be made. Any unscheduled station stops will be announced to reassure you and when a train has been delayed for two minutes a brief announcement providing reassurance and the reason (if known) will be given. In addition, we encourage on board staff to walk through trains and approach customers to make sure that you have all the information you need.

We have also introduced ‘InterpreterNow’ live BSL video systems to better assist our BSL using customer during their time in our stations and on our trains. This will enable hearing staff and BSL users to communicate better, assisting us to relay changes to our services and address any concerns that customers may have. (The InterpreterNow App is available for download at the Google Play Store and Apple Store).

Connections And Wayfinding

As a requirement of TfW’s Grant Agreement with Welsh Government. TfW are currently developing our own Passenger assist app, with an anticipated delivery by early 2021. The app intended to evolve towards providing an all Wales solution for an integrated Passenger booking and Passenger Assist Booking Services. Its evolving features to include, booking and reservation services, customer information about stations and services and onward journey information including connected transport primarily within Wales.

Working with local authorities TfW are committed to ensuring that stations are clearly and consistently signposted from the locality and neighbouring area supporting modal shift and sustainability initiatives including active travel planning.

TfW are proud to support and promote the welsh language; In accordance with the Welsh Language Act. Many of our staff are bilingual, and are more than able to provide customers with information on how to make connections with other modes of transport both prior to your journey and when travelling on our trains and through our stations.

Our staff also provide onward connection information and local maps on posters at all of our stations. When planning our services, we consult with all local authorities through our community partnerships. This is so we make sure the needs of local communities inform any decisions we make concerning service provision.

Making Connections

By booking Passenger Assist, assisted travel in advance, through us or another train company. You will receive help to make connections with other trains at our stations, even if your onward connection is not a TfW train.

This assistance includes when trains change platforms or changes are announced at short notice. In such events, ample time is available for those with mobility impairments to move independently or be assisted from one location/platform to another. If you are visually impaired, we can guide you to your next train to make a connection.

We always provide assisted travel whenever we can. We recommend you book assisted travel for unstaffed stations where you need help to change trains. When a change occurs, our staff will provide assistance and information to help you reach the revised departure platform, if accessible, as efficiently as possible. If the platform is not accessible, we will arrange alternative transport i.e. taxi, to the nearest accessible station.

At all our staffed stations TfW Rail staff will make every effort to assist you to connect to other services operating from the station, such as taxis operating under TfW contract. We will endeavour from the earliest opportunity, to provide you with a wheelchair-accessible vehicle based on availability. All drivers under the terms of their Taxi License Agreement receive disability awareness training from their local authority.

Accessible Transport From The Station

Wherever possible our station staff will help you connect with other services operating from our stations such as buses and taxis. With regards to taxis, whilst licensed by the local council. TfW ask taxi providers to apply for permits to ensure that they can provide wheelchair accessible vehicles and that their drivers are trained in disability awareness. However, we cannot guarantee such taxis will be available at all times.

Any company whose vehicles are licensed Hackney Carriages can purchase a permit to serve our stations. We will equip our staff with the means to contact the nearest company with accessible taxis. The telephone number of our Customer Relations team, who can give you the contact details of local firms that own accessible taxis, will be displayed on our station information posters at all of our stations (Please see section C for contact information). For further information on where to catch taxis and other means of onwards travel that serve TfW stations, please go to the National Rail Enquiries website (nationalrail.co.uk)

 

A2.4: Ticket Offices, Information Points, Help Points And Our Customer Relations Team

Customers are able to make themselves known to staff at the station and gain information in number of ways. At staffed stations, staff at the ticket office can give you a range of information including:-

  • Service updates,
  • Accessibility of our stations,
  • Contact details for Passenger Assist

At unstaffed stations you can speak to a person via a Help Point (usually located on the platform).

At our busiest stations we have clearly marked information points which offer:-

  • Timetables,
  • Posters and information leaflets at heights which are suitable for wheelchair users and standing passengers.
  • Information on the facilities, services and accessibility of all stations
  • Information on timetables, fares and connections (also available at station ticket offices, over the telephone from our Customer relations team and on our website as well as the
  • National Rail Enquiries website.
  • Wherever possible, leaflet racks and timetable displays will be placed so that wheelchair users and standing customers can use them.

All staff (including those who work at our customer service points) are able to provide accurate, up to date information to customers on a range of subjects including delays, disruption, diversions and emergencies. This also includes access to details about our services and those of other operators, accessibility of other transport available near the station and direct customers to appropriate sources of further information. All ticket offices and staffed Information Points are fitted with induction loops for people who wear hearing aids, and many have at least one low or height-adjustable counter. If possible, our timetables, posters and information leaflets will be placed so that both wheelchair users and standing passengers can use them.

Timetables, Useful Information Posters and Screens

Timetables and ‘Useful information’ posters are displayed at or near the entrance of all stations and our customer information screens (CIS) provide up to the minute travel information and timetables. (Available at Staffed and Unstaffed stations).

Designated Passenger Assist Meeting Points

TfW is further ensuring that our disabled customers are assisted through the implementation of Designated Passenger Assistance Points across a growing number of our staffed stations.

Operating during ticket office opening times, these features are currently available at Cardiff and Swansea. Detailed information about ticket opening times are available by contacting our Assisted Travel team, National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) (for contact details please see section c). (Not available at unstaffed stations)

Located just within the station near the gate lines or information points. Our Designated Passenger Assistance Points are staff monitored locations where customers requiring assistance or having booked assistance can gather and wait a short while before staff are available to help.

Easily identifiable through in the use of the historic accessibility blue and high level signage ‘Passenger Assist’ meeting points, where space permits provide seating, information boards, heat and customer information screens (CIS). The availability of designated ‘Passenger Assist’ meeting points at stations is provided within our stations information, which can be found at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility, by contacting the Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel team or contacting the Customer Relations team (see C. for contact details).

Meeting Points

At our staffed stations where our Designated Passenger Assist Meeting Points are not available, customer having booked assistance or not are requested to please approach the ticket office to let us know that they have arrived. At stations which do not have staff on duty, please wait on the platform in time for your train and our Conductor staff will assist you on-board.

Help Points

You can get train service information from stations that have Help Points. Help Points are similar to intercom systems. Help Points are circular white stands with a centrally positioned button you can press to speak to an operator who will be able to assist you in continuing your journey. Available in prominent locations on platform, at all of our staffed and unstaffed stations Help Points provide a link to our Control Centre who will also be able to assist you in continuing your journey 24 hours a day 7 days a week (except 25 and 26 December).

The journey check system, which upon registering provides real time, up-to-date train times, train disruption information, station facilities, lifts, toilets, ‘out of order’ status across your intended journey. Keeping you informed about any delays or disruptions via email or SMS alerts www.journeycheck.com/tfwrail/

Customer Relations Team

We recognise the importance of providing accurate and consistent information so disabled customers and those requiring assistance can travel with confidence. You can gain a range of information, journey planning, book passenger assist and purchase tickets through the following channels:

Contact Details, Numbers and New Media

We are committed to providing accurate and consistent information so disabled and older passengers can travel with confidence.

The below sections outline what we have put in place to support independent travel for all our customers but especially those with a range of disabilities and mobility needs.

The National Rail Enquiries website (nationalrail.co.uk) and the station layout guide (‘Stations Made Easy’) contain useful information about the accessibility of facilities and services at stations and on trains. We are committed to providing up-to-date information for these resources and on our own website. If there are changes to any information, our Accessibility and Inclusion Manager updates the National Rail Enquiries website within 24 hours. This includes where:

  • stations have a physical feature which might prevent some disabled people from using it
  • significant temporary work affects station accessibility
  • changes to stations make them temporarily inaccessible (for example, if station lifts or toilets are out of order)
  • or where changes are made to the accessibility of our trains

For any of the above or to report faults affecting station accessibility, please inform either station staff or alternatively contact our Customer Relations team using the below Contact details and numbers.

Station staff can get up-to-date information through a national database and can provide this information to passengers at ticket offices or Information Points (see section C). For detailed information on accessibility features of our stations, please see our Station Accessibility Information on our website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility This information is updated regularly and can be printed as required. Alternatively this information is also available by contacting our Customer Relations on 0333 3211 202 or customer.relations@tfwrail.wales

TfW Customer Relations

To contact the customer relations team,

TfW Social Media

On social media, follow:

Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel Service Opening Hours And Contact Details:

  • By phone: call our Passenger Assist team on 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)
  • By Next Generation Text: call our Passenger Assist team via text relay service on 18001 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)

Day Of Travel Queries Or Issues:

Other Sources of Information

You can also contact ‘InterpreterNow’. This service delivers immediate access to online interpreting for deaf BSL users, enabling deaf and hearing people to communicate with each-other. The service is available via a simple and straight forward app that can be used on customer smartphones. The app is designed to allow staff to aid deaf customers in any part of their journey, from information on trains during time of disruption to customer queries at stations or ticket offices.

Customers sign to an interpreter via the app through a video call, who will then relay the customer query to the member of staff. The interpreter will then be able to sign the answer and provide assistance back to the customer. (The InterpreterNow App is available for download at the Google Play Store and Apple Store).(For more information please see TfW ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older, and disabled passengers’ available on station, via website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Relations Team; Please See Section C). Journey check system, which upon registering provides real time, up-to-date train times, train disruption information, station facilities, lifts, toilets, ‘out of order’ status across your intended journey. Keeping you informed about any delays or disruptions via email or SMS alerts https://www.journeycheck.com/tfwrail/

 

A2.5 Websites

We are constantly working to improve the usability of our website for all our customers.

Working with our Access and Inclusion Panel our already WC3 compliant Bilingual website is being continuously enhanced to provide greater levels of accessibility. It is expected that by late 2021 that these developments will assist TfW in achieving full compliancy with the requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

We confirm that the TfW website works with screen readers, magnifiers, voice over software and in-browser accessibility functions. On the TfW homepage; https://tfw.wales/; under the heading of ‘Useful Links’. We also provide a ‘Book Assisted Travel’ link to our Assisted Travel page, https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel which explains the Passenger Assist service in a clear and concise manner, using plain English and avoiding the use of industry jargon.

It provides the necessary contact information and provisions for you to book assistance and purchase a ticket to travel (including details of any national discounts available to disabled passengers or persons with reduced mobility). Where other information is located elsewhere, we provide a connecting hyperlink.

The TfW website sets out information of our broad services and station information, including accessibility information, staff availability, Customer relations opening hours and Accessible parking spaces, information relating to any temporary reductions in accessibility and details of any delays and disruptions to facilities and services where relevant. The TfW website also informs the customer any restrictions on the use of wheelchairs, power chairs and scooters, together with how to obtain a scooter card, assistance card or priority card.

We also provide guidance on how you can provide feedback or make a complaint, and we include information on the availability of redress for when assistance has not been delivered as booked.

Furthermore, the TfW website provides links to a range of accessibility services including the Orange wallet Scheme, Sunflower lanyard and other related information including the ‘Making Rail Accessible’ customer leaflet and details of how to obtain it in accessible formats.

A3 Ticketing And Fares

The Lowest Available Fare

We aim to always offer you the Lowest Available Fare when you purchase tickets through our website, app, ticket offices, or ticket vending machines. We will provide accurate, timely and up-to-date details of fares at the point of purchase to help you to identify our cheapest prices. If you discover that a cheaper product was available on the day you purchased your ticket for the exact same journey, you will be entitled to a refund of the difference in cost within 28 days from the date of travel on your ticket. Please contact our Customer Relations team via email or web-form with the relevant information at the following link https://tfw.wales/ways-to-travel/rail/buy-tickets/lowest-available-fare.

 

Ticket Purchasing Information

We are committed to sell tickets accurately and impartially and to provide you with accurate information and advice on your journey and ticket options, irrespective of which train operating company provides the service. Our ticket office staff and Passenger Assist team are also familiar with the accessibility of our various types of rolling stock, and they are trained to ensure that the tickets you purchase will be appropriate to travel on the correct type of train.

All our staff are trained to ensure that the tickets you purchase are usable across the National Rail network and that services are appropriate and accessible to support your travel needs. If you are unable to buy a ticket before you board one of our trains, you can buy one without penalty on the train or at the destination station.

You will still be able to use your Disabled Persons Railcard, or receive the relevant discounts.

More information about the Disabled Persons Railcard can be found at the following link; (https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/ We participate in a number of additional schemes offering discounted fares, these are detailed below.

 

TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines)

Although customers can purchase tickets before you travel or once on board the train from our helpful conductors who are available on all our trains and approach all customers during their journeys.

TfW are investing significantly in TVMs providing them at all our stations where there are ticket barriers. These machines can issue tickets with Disabled Persons Railcard discounts if the ticket office is closed. This new generation of TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines) shows what tickets are available through the TVM screen and what is not.

All tickets sold via TVMs are valid for immediate travel from the origin station to all other stations on the National Rail Network. TVMs also have a number of accessibility features including:-

  • Integrated into the front of the TVM is an amplified loud speaker used to relay instruction to the customer and guide them through the ticket purchasing process
  • To support the hearing impaired and visual impaired a miniature 3.5mm headphone jack/socket is incorporated into the TVM again supporting the customer through the ticket purchasing process

 

Buying Tickets Before You Arrive At The Station

You can buy a ticket before you travel; many offering discounts to disabled or older customers: -

  • Online from our website or from the websites of other companies that sell tickets;
  • By phoning 033 300 50 501.

 

Discounted Railcards

Before you travel, we also offer a range of discounted Railcards which can be purchased in advance of your journey: -

 

Disabled Persons Railcard

This railcard saves you and a companion at least 1/3 off rail fares across Britain. For more information and applications, contact:-

 

Travel Without A Disabled Persons Railcard Other Concessionary Discounts

TfW Accessible Travel Policy 23 Some disabled passengers are automatically entitled to discounts so it may be worth checking this out before buying a railcard. The discounts are as follows.

  • 34% off First Class or Standard Anytime Single tickets
  • 50% off First Class or Standard Anytime Day Return tickets
  • 34% off First Class or Standard Anytime Return tickets

You are entitled to these discounts if you are:

  • A wheelchair user staying in your wheelchair during the journey (the discount also applies to one person travelling with you) (You must provide written evidence of your impairment from an appropriate source to get the discount).
  • If you are visually impaired (blind or partially sighted) and travelling with one other person. You are not entitled to this discount if you are not travelling with anyone else. You must provide written evidence of your visual impairment from an appropriate source to get the discount.
  • Child wheelchair users are entitled to 75% off these tickets. Please note that: In some cases it may be cheaper to buy a full-rate off peak or advance ticket. Such tickets can be purchased online, from ticket machines and from ticket offices or conductors.

More information on Concessionary Discounts including eligibility can be found at the following link; Other Concessionary Discounts (disabledpersonsrailcard.co.uk/using-your-railcard/other-discounts/) Please note our only first class ticket service runs daily between Cardiff and Holyhead, and provides bookable / reserved wheelchair spaces. Customers are advised to book in advance due to high demand for this services.

 

Senior Railcard

Aged 60 or over? The Senior Rail card saves you a 1/3 on most rail fares. For more information and applications, contact:-

 

Other Railcards

There are many types of railcard available to suit a range of customers. Please visit tfwrail.wales or contact our Customer Relations team

  • Phone: 03333 211 202
  • Next Generation Text service: 18001 03333 211 202 TfW Accessible Travel Policy 24
  • Email: customer.relations@tfwrail.wales Opening times: 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday (including bank holidays) 11am to 10pm on Sundays Closed on Christmas Day

 

Season tickets for visually impaired passengers

If you are registered visually impaired, you can buy an adult season ticket which allows a companion to travel with you free of charge. (You can have a different companion each time you travel.) You can buy these season tickets at ticket offices. You must provide written evidence of your visual impairment from an appropriate source to get the discount. More information about the Disabled Persons Railcard can be found at the following link; (https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/ Also please see TfW ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older, and disabled passengers ’ available on station, via website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Relations Team; Please See Section C).

A4 Alternative Accessible Transport

We want to make sure that passengers can make as much of their journeys as possible by rail.

However, we will arrange alternative accessible transport, such as a taxi, for you and a companion at no extra cost if:

  • you cannot travel to or from a station which is inaccessible to you
  • rail-replacement transport is inaccessible to you
  • or a short-notice disruption to services makes services inaccessible to you

If things go wrong on a case-by-case basis, wherever possible we will aim to ensure that immediate family, especially those requiring adult supervision, are supported to travel together.

We provide this transport at no additional cost to your rail ticket. We discuss what kind of taxi you need before we book it. The alternative transport takes you to or from the most convenient accessible station or staffed station where someone can help you.

We cannot guarantee alternative accessible transport for a mobility scooter because they often cannot be carried safely in a taxi. However, if you are already travelling with us in a mobility scooter when the disruption happens. Situations are managed on a case by cases basis and we will make you as comfortable as possible while you wait for the next train.

Where disruption and delays do occur, we will do everything we can to ensure that you are able to continue your journey. We will let you know what is happening through our website, social media and announcements (on the train and at the station).

TfW Accessible Travel Policy 25 If the disruption means your original assistance arrangements are no longer possible, we will contact you via phone, email or SMS and re-book any required assistance through Passenger Assist, including any alternative accessible transport required (without additional charge).

Our station and on-train staff will help you as required and are trained to assist all customers, with a range of needs. They will communicate news of any service disruption and provision of alternative transport via the Customer Information Systems, or, where reasonably possible, in person.

Or you can use a station Help Point, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except on Christmas Day, which connects directly into our Control Centre.

We aim to provide reliable assisted travel based on your needs. However, if something goes wrong, it is important that you let our Customer Relations team and we will consider providing appropriate compensation (including a full or partial refund) depending on the circumstances. (Please See Section C).

TfW are committed to PSVAR compliancy. We make every effort to ensure that alternative means of Accessible Travel booked by TfWRail services to support your onward journey, comply with the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR). PSVAR compliant vehicles national are limited in availability, a situation beyond the control of TfWRail services.

TfW are committed to your safe and comfortable passage and will in all instances endeavour to ensure our customers’ needs are accommodated within our best efforts and abilities. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. For the latest updates regarding Walsh Governments response to PSVAR compliancy please follow the below link (Please note that this information is accurate at the date of publication and is subject to change).

A5 Scooters And Mobility Aids

Our trains can accommodate mobility scooters of up to 700mm x 1200mm, with a turning radius of 900mm and a combined maximum weight (mobility scooter and passenger) of 300kg. Train companies have different rules on carrying scooters so please check before you travel.

A separate leaflet which can be found by following the below link, explains in more detail that you can bring your mobility scooter on our trains as long as it meets our guidelines, for size, turning radius, transferring to a seat. https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/mobility-scooter

Any exclusion will be made subject to safety considerations, such as the manoeuvrability of the aid, its physical size restricting other customers use of the service, 300 kg maximum weight capacity of ramps being exceeded or the aid being a hazard, blocking entrances / exits.

TfW Accessible Travel Policy 26 (For more information please see TfW ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older, and disabled passengers’ available on station, via website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Relations Team; Please See Section C). Should you wish to Book Passenger Assist operators / staff will be able to advise you about onward travel with your Mobility Scooter with other rail operators.

A6 Delays, Disruptions And Emergencies

Disruption to facilities and services can have a significant impact on both your accessibility and your level of confidence while travelling on the railway. Where disruption does occur, we will do everything we can to ensure that, wherever possible, you are able to continue your journey and are not left stranded.

At times when our facilities or services are disrupted, we will give you notice on our website, via twitter and other communication channels. If the disruption means your original arrangements are no longer valid, we will do our best to make contact with you and re-book any required assistance through Passenger Assist.

We will request a contact number from you when you book assistance, which will help us to contact you in case of disruption. Our on-board staff are issued with smart devices, this gives them the means to rearrange onward assistance for you during times of disruption.

Our staff are trained to anticipate your needs. They will communicate news of any service disruption and provision of alternative transport to you via the Customer Information Systems (CIS) or, where possible, in person. This entails providing you with aural and visual information when you need it. They will then check to see if you have understood the announcements or if you are likely to have difficulties in light of the announcements (for example, changing platforms). Taking their other duties (such as train dispatch) into consideration they will then do all that is reasonably possible to assist you. The provision of Help Points at all of our staffed and unstaffed stations, provide a link to our Control Centre team 24 hours 7 days a week (except 25 and 26 December) who will also be able to assist you in continuing your journey.

Sometimes a train’s departure platform must be changed, often at short notice. Such a change will be shown on the customer information screens and will be announced aurally as soon as possible. When a change occurs, our staff will provide assistance and information to help you reach the revised departure platform, if accessible, as efficiently as possible.

Once local managers have been told that disruption is occurring, they will endeavour to deploy staff to stations affected by disruption. Along with our employees already at the scene, they will be able to assist you with other needs, for example, with luggage or with guidance.

When disruption causes the cancellation or alteration of train services, we will provide you with accessible substitute transport. This will be done without additional charge. Our rail replacement team has contractual arrangements with bus and taxi operators across the TfW network, including securing, wherever possible, the provision of accessible vehicles; this team is located at our control centre and deals with both planned and unplanned disruption. When train services are replaced with buses, we will do everything possible to TfW Accessible Travel Policy 27 secure accessible buses from local operators. When this is not possible, we will book a taxi that is accessible to you. Our frontline employees, supported by our rail replacement team, have the authority to do all that is reasonably practicable to arrange suitable substitute services for you in such circumstances.

When the level of accessibility of facilities at a station or on a train is less than that normally provided (e.g. as a result of the breakdown, alteration or removal of facilities), we will aim to provide you, wherever possible, with equivalent replacement facilities. If we have your contact details, we will endeavour to contact you by telephone or email and to make you aware of the disruption, and to assist you with making alternative arrangements (such as rebooking or re-routing assistance). We will also provide you with information of the disruption to facilities through our website, twitter and advise our staff at stations, on trains, ticket offices and at our Customer Service Centre, to provide you with an estimated time for when the facilities will be functioning again.

(For more information please see TfW’s ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older and disabled Passengers’ available on station, via website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Relations Team; Please See Section C).

 

Emergencies

Emergency procedures Staff are trained in their responsibilities on the health and safety of our passengers, including evacuation procedures at stations and on-board trains. Our conductors are responsible for evacuating trains. At a station, ramps will be used to assist wheelchair users and mobility impaired passengers onto the platforms. If evacuation routes are not accessible customers will be accompanied to a predefined safe ‘refuge’ away of danged and evacuated by fire services upon their arrival. If a train is not at a station, our policy is not to evacuate a train unless there is immediate danger to life. In such a case, wheelchair users and mobility impaired passengers would be assisted from the train by staff with the support of emergency services.

A7 Station Facilities

Our Staffed and unstaffed stations have a range of facilities available for customer.

 

Station Entrances

We do not permanently close station entrances or gates if this would restrict disabled passengers’ access to any platforms or station facilities, unless we have: consulted the Department for Transport, Transport Focus and local access groups; and got approval to do so from the Department for Transport. We consider the needs of disabled and older customers before restricting or temporarily closing access points at any of our stations. Detailed updated information about the accessibility of our stations including opening hours is available by contacting our Assisted Travel team, National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) and our Station Accessibility Information, available through using the following link https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility. (For additional contact, information please see section C).

Additionally please see the National Rail Accessibility Map. Available at the following link www.accessmap.nationalrail.co.uk. This map contains information about the accessibility of each station on the UK Rail Network, including if a station is step free, the availability of accessible toilets and if the station has changing places facilities.

 

Announcements And Train Service Information

Our stations provide information on train services in a range of ways including customer information screens (CIS) and or announcements. Information Points are provided at all our stations. We provide clear announcements and or visual information of train departures and other relevant messages.

In the event of delays or disruptions more information and support can be gained from our staff, customer information screens (CIS) and Information Points. You can also contact our customer relation team or Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel Service (contact details can be found in section C.)

 

Information Points and displays

At our large stations, we provide clearly marked and staffed Information points, which are open when the ticket office is open.

Located just inside the station, Staff at Information Points can:

  • provide information on the facilities, services and accessibility at all our stations, and those provided by other rail companies
  • give directions to local public transport and hotels
  • provide information on train services, timetables, fares and connections
  • confirm arrangements made for an assisted travel booking and
  • provide information on delays and factors which might affect your journey

All ticket offices and staffed Information Points are fitted with induction loops for people who wear hearing aids, and many have at least one low or height-adjustable counter. If possible, our timetables, posters and information leaflets will be placed so that both wheelchair users and standing passengers can use them.

Timetables and ‘Useful information’ posters are displayed at or near the entrance of all stations and our customer information screens (CIS) provide up to the minute travel information and timetables.

 

Help Points

Help Points are similar to intercom systems. Help Points are circular white stands with a centrally positioned button you can press to speak to our Control Centre who will be able to TfW Accessible Travel Policy 29 assist you in continuing your journey. Available in prominent locations on platform, at all of our staffed and unstaffed stations Help Points provide a link to our Control Centre who will also be able to assist you in continuing your journey 24 hours a day 7 days a week (except 25 & 26 December).

 

Assistance Staff

In addition to all our stations and trains operational staff who are always on hand to provide assistance across the network. We also have additional customer assistance initiatives (Customer Ambassadors and Passenger Assist staff).

 

Customer Ambassadors

Operating during core hours (9am – 5pm). Ambassadors provide a highly visible presence by working in designated zones within the station. The Ambassadors role being to manage key locations within the station, such as gate lines; promoting customer services standards and respond to general customer enquiries across the whole station. Liaising with other staff to improve customer satisfaction and address general customers’ enquiries.

 

Passenger Assist Staff

Recognisable by their blue tabards Passenger Assist Staff are currently only available in Cardiff and Chester. Passenger Assist Staff are available to specifically to support the needs of the disabled and older communities. Services include supporting customers who have booked passenger assist catch connections and taking customers to taxis within the station boundary.

 

InterpreterNow Live Video BSL

Available on train and at the station; the InterpreterNow service delivers immediate access to online interpreting for deaf / BSL users, enabling deaf and hearing people to communicate easily with each-other. This service is available via a simple app that can be downloaded and used by customers on their own smartphones. The app is designed to allow staff to aid deaf customers in any part of their journey, from information on trains during time of disruption to customer queries at stations or ticket offices. Customers sign to an interpreter via the app through a video call, who will then relay the customer query to the member of staff. The interpreter will then be able to sign the answer and provide assistance back to the customer. (The InterpreterNow App is available for download at the Google Play Store and Apple Store). Follow the link below to see a video of InterpreterNow being used. https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/initiatives/bsl-interpretation-app or TfW Accessible Travel Policy 30 https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel (For more information please see TfW ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older and disabled passengers’ available on station, via website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Relations Team; Please See Section C).

 

TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines)

Although customers can purchase tickets before you travel or once on board the train from our helpful conductors who are available on all our trains and approach all customers during their journeys. TfW are investing significantly in TVMs providing them at all our stations where there are ticket barriers. These machines can issue tickets with Disabled Persons Railcard discounts if the ticket office is closed. This new generation of TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines) shows what tickets are available through the TVM screen and what is not. All tickets sold via TVMs are valid for immediate travel from the origin station to all other stations on the National Rail Network. TVMs also have a number of accessibility features including:-

  • Integrated into the front of the TVM is an amplified loud speaker used to relay instruction to the customer and guide them through the ticket purchasing process
  • To support the hearing impaired and visual impaired a miniature 3.5mm headphone jack/socket is incorporated into the TVM again supporting the customer through the ticket purchasing process

 

Ticket Gates

Some of our stations have automatic ticket barriers. These have at least one wider gate for wheelchair users and pushchairs. When gates are not staffed, they are locked open. We offer general accessibility information on your journey, so please feel free to check beforehand, to avoid any inconvenience. You can do this in a range of ways including using our accessible stations information available at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility, by contacting the Passenger Assist Assisted Travel team or the Customer Relations team before you travel (see section C for contact details).

 

Changing Places Toilets

We recognise that the standard accessible toilets available at many of our stations do not meet the needs of all people with a disability. We are increasingly installing changing places toilets at a growing number of our stations, providing specialist equipment and more space to provide safe and comfortable away from home toilet facilities. For a complete list of changing places facilities please use the following link http://www.changingplaces.org/Default.aspx and also see our Accessible Stations Information available at TfW Accessible Travel Policy 31 https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility

 

Luggage

If you book assisted travel in advance, station staff or the conductor will help you get your luggage on and off the train. There is no charge for this service. If a station has assistance staff on duty, they can help you with luggage to and from the station entrance. If you need help with luggage but have not booked assisted travel in advance, staff will try to help with luggage, but this depends on whether staff are available. The weight, size and quantity of luggage must be safe for our staff to carry on and off the train and within the station. Each piece of luggage cannot weigh more than 23kg (TfW requirement) The National Rail Conditions of Travel state that, as a general rule, you can take up to three items of luggage on the train. (For more information, please contact our Customer Relations Team please see Section C).

 

Ramps

Ramps are available at all stations with platform staff and on all our trains. Station staff use these to help you on and off any trains, regardless of the rail company. Conductors use the ramps on board at unstaffed stations, whether or not you have booked assisted travel in advance. Conductors are trained to recognise the assistance that customers may require, including the use of ramps. Please feel free to inform the conductor and request any assistance that you may need as they pass through the carriage. They are very pleased to be of assistance. Whilst we have a program of access improvements across the network; it is important that we inform you that some of our stations have steps, my not be accessible to some wheelchair users or provide a steep ramp between the train and the platform. To avoid inconvenience on your journey, check this beforehand. You can do this in a range of ways including using our accessible stations information available at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility, which holds detailed information about station accessibility, or by contacting the Passenger Assist Assisted Travel team or the Customer Relations team before you travel (see section C for contact details).

 

Facilities Provided By Other Companies

Third-party retailers provide catering at stations. We will make sure that any new or renewed tenancy agreements include obligations under the Equality Act 2010. The location of retailers’ premises will not affect the accessibility of the station or its facilities.

 

Staffing Hours And Unstaffed Stations

Where our stations either do not have staff or only have ticket office staff that cannot provide assisted travel, the conductor on the train will help you on board. TfW Accessible Travel Policy 32 If you need help at an unstaffed station or a station where there are only ticket office staff, please contact the Assisted Travel team. If you arrive at an unstaffed station and need help but have not booked assisted travel in advance, please contact the Assisted Travel team. You will find contact details on the information poster at the station entrance. The Assisted Travel team can arrange alternative transport for you or organise for a conductor to help you on or off the train if you can get to the platform. (For more information please see TfW ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older and disabled passengers’ available on station, via website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Relations Team; Please See Section C).

We make sure that specific arrangements are made for passengers needing help at any station when a special event is taking place nearby (especially at Cardiff Central and Chester stations). We also make sure that the arrangements for providing help at any station are shown on each station’s page on the National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) and our Station Accessibility Information provides details on accessibility https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility

Additionally please see the National Rail Accessibility Map. Available at the following link www.accessmap.nationalrail.co.uk. This map contains information about the accessibility of each station on the UK Rail Network, including if a station is step free, the availability of accessible toilets and if the station has changing places facilities.

 

Assisted Travel Without Booking

If you cannot book assisted travel in advance, we will still provide help if possible, but this may take longer to arrange. Please speak to a member of station staff they will help you get on your intended train or the next available one. Please arrive at least 20 minutes before the time of your intended train so that staff can make arrangements to escort you to the platform in plenty of time to board your train. At stations where there are no staff to help you; our conductors can help you on board (for example, by using the on-board ramp). In this case, you need to be on the platform in time for the train. (For more information please see TfW ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older, and disabled passengers’ available on station, via website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Relations Team; Please See Section C).

 

Arriving At The Station

If you have booked assisted travel in advance, when the train you are on arrives at your destination station you will be helped off usually within 5 minutes of arriving at the station. If you arrive at the last / termination station on the train’s route, you will be helped off the train within five minutes of arriving if reasonably possible.

 

A7.1: Left Luggage

We do not provide our own left-luggage facilities at any of our stations. However, Holyhead has a facility run by another company, and there are left-luggage facilities at Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street. These stations are operated by Network Rail. Accessibility to this service is limited but staff at stations will be able to provide assistance should you need. (For more information please see https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or contact our Customer Relations Team; Please see Section C).

 

A7.2: Accessible Parking for Blue Bade Holders.

We monitor the use of designated blue badge parking bays at our car parks, particularly when provision is not compliant with the Code of Practice. The contracted manager of these car parks performs regular occupancy counts of these bays and general spaces. This allows us to assess supply and demand and, if necessary, to provide extra blue badge parking bays if space allows. Our ‘pay and display’ car parks are regularly patrolled. Cars parked in Blue Badge bays that do not display a badge will receive a penalty.

Most stations have a tarmac or concrete surfaced car park, with designated parking spaces available for Blue Badge holders (although charges apply).

We locate these spaces in the most suitable place to ensure you will have easy access to our stations. Usually these spaces are located as close to the main station entrance as possible. Spaces for Blue Badge holders are marked with the International Symbol for Access on the ground.

To maximise the availability of spaces for you, car park regulations are enforced and any non-Blue Badge holders occupying designated Blue Badge spaces are treated as being in violation of the parking byelaws and dealt with accordingly.

 

A7.3: Third Party Provided Facilities

We will ensure that any services and facilities provided by a third party, concessions, or partners are accessible. This requirement will be included in the relevant contracts and enforced by our property management team. Our station management team will monitor the services and facilities provided by third parties on a day-to-day basis to ensure that they are not located where they will cause an obstruction.

While it is recognised that third-party service providers have their own responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, we will make every effort to ensure that any services and facilities provided by others at our stations are accessible to you.

 

A7.4: Replacement Facilities

We will provide, wherever possible, reasonable replacement facilities for you that are accessible when the level of accessibility of facilities at a station is less than that normally provided e.g. as a result of the breakdown, alteration or removal of facilities. (For more TfW Accessible Travel Policy 34 information please see TfW ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older, and disabled passengers’ available on station, via website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or by contacting our Customer Relations Team; Please See Section C). Where access to platforms or other facilities for customers with disabilities (for example lifts, accessible toilets etc), breakdown or are temporarily out of use, we will notify NRE and ensure the information appears on our website within 24 hours and is also displayed at the station entrance. Where possible, this notification includes the expected or actual date by when the facility is to be returned to use.

A8 Redress And Compensation

When assistance has been booked but has not been provided, we will provide you with compensation for your journey. In cases where assistance is booked through our team, at any station TfW services call at or on one of our trains and assistance was not provided by any rail staff, we will offer you a full refund for the cost of the journey. We will be happy to assist you with your claim upon your contacting the customer relations team (Please see section C, How To Provide Feedback Or Make A Complaint).

We will coordinate a response to your complaint, should your journey have involved multiple train companies, and we will provide you with a full explanation in response, including why it happened and what mitigating actions we intend to take as a result.

We will also always comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015. In line with the National Rail Conditions of Travel, we will consider all additional compensation claims for any losses or extra costs caused by a service failure. (For example, the cost of a new plane ticket if you miss a flight). This will not affect your legal rights to make claims under the Consumer Act 2015, although you must not seek to recover the same money twice for example both under our claims process and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

 

Compensation Available to You.

Delay Repay Compensation

We always try and ensure our trains run on time, but delays do occur sometimes and when this happens, we will offer fair and appropriate compensation. If one of our trains runs late or is cancelled for any reason, and because of that you get to your destination station 15 minutes or more later than scheduled, ‘Delay Repay’ applies. All claims for compensation must be received by us within 28 days of completion of your journey. Make sure you have to hand:

  • The date of your journey
  • The time of the train that was delayed
  • The origin and destination of your journey
  • A scan or photo of the tickets purchased for your journey

Please follow the below link to fill out a Delay Repay form. https://tfw.wales/help-and-contact/rail/delay-repay Alternatively please contact our customer relations team (Please see section C).

B1. Strategy and Management

Transport for Wales (TfW) took over operation of services on the Wales and Borders network in October 2018.

This document explains our policies and how we intend to deliver the outcomes as set out in ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping Older and Disabled People’, (a copy of which is available at our staffed stations, from Customer Relations or via our website). We recognise that disabled people experience environmental, attitudinal and organizational barriers to accessing rail travel.

We are committed to tackling these barriers and creating an inclusive and welcoming service for all during the course of our contract. Within the first 3 months of our franchise we have set up an Accessibility Panel to enable collaboration with relevant stakeholders and passengers. More information on the TfW Access Panel is available at the following link https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/initiatives/accessibility-panel

Inviting members to comment on planned enhancements, to consult on our accessibility initiatives and to take part in trials, workshops, and training. This commitment to the continuous improvement of services and facilities for older and disabled people will be achieved through:

  • An ongoing review of our station accessibility and information
  • Investing in stations and rolling stock which will provide greater levels of accessibility
  • Transform customer experience through training our staff and taking advantage of opportunities offered by technology e.g. Data Insights Lab
  • Placing stakeholders and passengers at the heart of our planning process through investment in Community Rail Partnerships and ‘Adopt a Station’

This document sets out our commitment to providing assistance to all our customers, how we plan to achieve this. Explaining how we will meet the requirements of a range of legislation and guidance; including: -

  • The DfT’s current ‘Design Standards for Accessible Railway Stations: A Code of Practice’ (the Code of Practice)
  • The Equality Act 2010 TfW Accessible Travel Policy 36
  • The Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 1998 (RVAR)
  •  The Technical Specification on Interoperability: Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM-TSI)

B2 Management Arrangements

Management arrangements Providing services to older and disabled people is an integral part of our planning processes and of delivering rail services.

Our Board has formalised this Accessible Travel Policy and accompanying documents. Implementation of which is the responsibility of the Customer Experience and Transformation Director; ensuing it is incorporation in all our business activities; cascading our commitments and initiatives to senior managers and station managers. This policy is provided to our projects, property and procurement teams alongside the Code of Practice to ensure its implementation and to emphasise its importance.

Our Customer Experience and Transformation Director is responsible for ensuring compliance when stations are built or undergo refurbishment, while our Operations Director is responsible for ensuring PRM-TSI is applied to the refurbishment of our trains.

Our disability training programme, supported by local stakeholders, will ensure frontline staff and managers understand their responsibilities in line with this policy.

Overall day-to-day responsibility for our accessibility initiatives are held by our Head of Customer Experience has; supported by the Accessibility and Inclusion Manager and broader team.

This structure and integrated approach will further strengthen TfW ambitious plans for accessibility and inclusion; an indication of which is provided in Section B4.

B3 Monitoring And Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation We have implemented a range of measures to ensure that we monitor and evaluate our performance in meeting the commitments in our ATP, including our continuous improvement.

Our Accessibility Panel instated in 2019 are considered a ‘critical friend’; supporting our decision-making process and compliancy with the duties of the Equalities Act 2010. Members are empowered and confident in providing comments, shaping our services, facilities and the plans and processes within the business. There are integral to how we move from evaluation to improving experience for all.

In the first year of its work, the Accessibility Panel have explored the implementation of what will be our new priority seat scheme and how this would best work for passengers with a broad range of disabilities including non-visible disabilities and those who may simply require additional consideration such as pregnant women. Informed decision making about our new fleet and directed station improvement plans and ‘Access For All’ proposals.

Our Customers Relations team lead on investigating complaints or reports of breakdowns in assistance or accessibility. Trends are identified and appropriate action taken. Any learning points are fed back to staff or managers for analysis.

TfW Accessible Travel Policy 37 Securing sufficient data about Assisted Travel is constantly improving and forms a crucial part of evidencing resource requirements, customer experience and accessibility levels. The introduction of a TfW Passenger Assist Travel app currently in development will automate data collection and allow us to proactively lead on robust evaluation, taking the pressure off passengers to raise concerns.

Collaborating with Disability Wales and the Accessibility Panel we will continue to measure how many disabled or vulnerable people are accessing our services during accessibility enhancements, reviewing this every six months.

In response to Welsh Government we gather and provide periodic reports based on the results of Assisted Travel data, including booked and fulfilled Assisted Travel, and provide this to the Executive to identify any necessary interventions.

Our Head of Customer Experience acts upon any risks or concerns about failures to meet the standards of our ATP by working with relevant senior management colleagues to identify the need for further clarification, briefings or training needs.

Our Accessible Travel Policy (previously known as the Disabled Person Protection Policy / DPPP) is reviewed annually.

B4. Access Improvements

We are committed to complying with the PRM-TSI and the Code of Practice when installing or refurbishing rolling stock and facilities at stations to provide accessibility.

In late 2019 whilst making every effort to comply with PRM-TSI compliancy, it was evident that TfW; would have to apply for derogations / dispensation for a number of our fleet due to cumulative factors delaying efforts towards compliancy.

Customer Information and Mitigations:-

  • Non-PRM compliant services will be advertised in advance, although short-notice alternations are possible.
  • Announcements will be made about the route using the PA (on and off train at stations).
  • Use the existing front destination display.
  • Customers will be informed at time of booking and offered alternative transport and offer next train.
  • Staff receive a specific briefing regarding PRM regulations
  • PRM customer messaging is shared online, in print and via our social media channels, local press and stations.
  • Information regarding Accessibility of all fleets and all stations can be gained from a variety of sources, assisting passengers to help plan their journey.
  • All trains operated with at least one guard, regularly walking through the train, checking on all passengers and answering queries on the route.
  • Use non PRM compliant units on shorter journeys. For example, Pacers and non-PRM compliant units will be prioritised (average journey time per passenger of less than 10 minutes).
  • Provision of accessible toilets on most long-distance services. TfW Accessible Travel Policy 38
  • In the Cardiff Valleys, where trains may currently not be fitted with accessible toilets, trains stop at all stations and offer high frequency (every 10 minutes between Cardiff and Pontypridd. This offers the possibility to get off the train at Pontypridd and use the toilet and catch the next train. This results in no journey being longer than 30’ without access to a toilet.
  • As far as practically possible, TfW will operate non-PRM units in multiple with units that are already PRM compliant. In this configuration the toilet on the non-PRM unit could be used by other passengers, as essentially it is just a standard toilet. This will greatly increase the proportion of services offering a PRM compliant unit, as shown in table 1 below.
  • Lines routes will be operated with trains formed with at least one PRM compliant unit.
  • Last train of the day to be PRM compliant will be enforced as reasonably applicable
  • PRM customer messaging is shared online, in print and via our social media channels, local press and stations.

Our program of works will ensure that all our trains will conform with PRM-TSI compliancy by the end of 2020 at the latest.

 

Further accessibility improvements

We have recruited an Accessibility and Inclusion Manager whose role is to oversee and influence accessibility and inclusion matters across TfW; this post will be joined by an Accessibility Support Officer. Their role being to support the implementation of the Access and Inclusion Panel and support mainstreaming of inclusion initiatives.

The Accessibility Panel have an integrated role providing insight and review into all the accessibility features of new trains and rolling stock.

Before the manufacture of any new rolling stock, mock up vehicles; will be tested and reviewed by the Accessibility Panel, and their feedback taken into account in the eventual design.

Level access between platform and train by 2022 on all South Wales Metro stations. Transforming disabled and older passengers’ levels of independence and inclusion, increase safety and improve confidence in rail travel. The incorporation of innovative door lighting systems on Metro Vehicles which will indicate when the door is safe to use and when it is opening or closing.

Doors will be a different colour to the interior on all new trains to make them clearer to identify. We will introduce a new priority seat scheme for passengers with a broad range of disabilities including non-visible disabilities and those who may simply require additional consideration such as pregnant women.

We have also introduced a baby on board scheme in recognition that travelling on the train can be tricky for mums-to-be, but our Baby on Board badge makes it easier to let other passengers know that you have a very good reason to need a seat. More information and how to get a Baby on Board Badge can be found at; tfw.wales/help-and-contact/rail/baby-on-board-badge or by calling our customer relation team. (See Section C)

Stations across our network will see constant accessibility and inclusion related improvements. In with our own program of improvements and the DfT’s Access for All programme and in partnership with the DfT, Network Rail, local authorities and businesses we will work to secure funding for and develop an ongoing strategy to improve the accessibility of our network in accordance with the standards required by the Code of Practice.

2020 will see improvements in Text to Speech capability (bilingually) of our existing Customer Information Screens. Starting in 2019 with 5 station trials from October. This improving information for visually impaired customers.

Our station tool kit, which sets out the way that our stations are designed, including signage has been assessed and approved by our Accessibility and Inclusion Panel. This being especially important to ensure that the needs of the visually impaired community is catered for.

Accessibility and Inclusion Panel also testing and approving the use of the new CIS screens to check that they are as easy as possible for users with dementia and a range of cognitive and visual impairments to read and understand.

We are ensuring full coverage for hearing induction loops at stations.

We are adopting ‘InterpreterNow’ a Live Video BSL. This service supporting BSL using customers to immediately access live video lined BSL services, enabling deaf and hearing staff to communicate with each-other. The app is designed to allow staff to aid deaf customers in any part of their journey, from information on trains during time of disruption to customer queries at stations or ticket offices.

Customers sign to an interpreter via the app through a video call, who will then relay the customer query to the member of staff. The interpreter will then be able to sign the answer back to the customer.

Please follow the below link where you can watch a video to see InterpreterNow being used in a real-life scenario.

https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/initiatives/bsl-interpretation-app or

https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel

(The InterpreterNow App is available for download at the Google Play Store and Apple Store). We are providing additional Customer Help Points at stations; of specific benefit for customers who may need more help and guidance when not familiar/comfortable in using stations. Details of the accessibility at each individual station are available from our website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility and on the National Rail website, www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations or Alternatively please contact our customer relations team (Please see section C).

As part of our committed obligations TfW will invest in a wide-ranging programme of schemes to improve the facilities for disabled customers, including:

  • Cycle spaces
  • Improved toilet facilities including an increasing number of ‘Changing Places’ WCs
  • Ticketing facilities including new TVM (ticket Vending Machines)
  • Improved accessible car parking where able
  • Improved Digital Information Screens linked to bus time tables
  • New shelters and additional seating
  • Help Points
  • And CCTV

We will discuss the programme with colleagues across the industry, including other train operating companies, Network Rail, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and representatives of disabled passengers such as DPTAC, Disability Wales and our own Accessibility and Inclusion Panel.

We also aim to deliver the following improvement schemes at TfW stations within the next 12 months as part of the DfT’s Access for All programme and our own Minor Works programme, which invests £250,000 per annum at stations to improve accessibility. At the time of publishing this document the planned schemes are:

  • Cardiff Central
  • Cardiff Queen Street (due in 2021)
  • Chester
  • Newport
  • Shrewsbury
  • Swansea
  • Tenby
  • Bridgend

The current phase of Minor Works budget is aimed at improvements to features to support a range of accessibility needs; including improved platform markings and tactile paving’s to assist visually impaired customers recognise the platform edge safely.

B5: Working With Disabled Passengers, Local Communities And Local Authorities

In preparing our accessibility and inclusion proposals for and the development of our accessible policies, we consulted with a cross-section of disability stakeholders, through our Access and Inclusion Panel. With key findings implemented into our future initiatives. Key organisations that represent the interests of customers with disabilities – include Guide Dogs Cymru, RNIB, Disability Wales etc. all have reviewed and approved our Accessible Travel Policy.

From April 2020, our Accessibility and Inclusion Panel will expand. Actively consulting further with organisations representing the wider Protected Characteristics to ensure that as broad a range of needs and requirements are considered in all our plans. Providing a formal means of consulting with organisations, and other representatives across a wide range of other interest groups such as parents with infants, young persons and representatives from recognised organisations for minority ethnic groups and LGBT+. The Accessibility and Inclusion Panel promoting new ways of raising awareness, encouraging trial journeys and providing training in the wide range of customer needs, including nonvisible disabilities such as cognitive and intellectual impairments. This to ensure that inclusion is mainstreamed in wider business activities.

Furthermore, we consult with a range of stakeholders who represent disabled and older passengers, and other groups that experience access barriers, whether or not they are members of our Accessibility Panel as part of our stakeholder team and interested parties.

We will provide reports on the quarterly Accessibility and Inclusion Panel meetings, covering the agenda topics (such as prioritisation of accessibility improvements), key findings and actions to be taken.

A range of information including TfW accessible initiatives and reports is available on our website at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/policies-and-information. We continue to work with the local health care sector to organise dedicated ‘accessibility trips’ during quieter off-peak times, to build disabled and older people’s confidence travelling by rail, thereby increasing activity and reducing social isolation.

We will consult with all local authorities and local colleges in areas that our services run to, through or near. This is so we make sure the needs of local communities inform any decisions we make concerning service provision.

We will also promote customer participation in our Online Community to help test ideas around improving accessibility and inclusivity.

We will actively promote the availability of assisted travel, with a particular focus on the customer leaflet, ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping older and disabled passengers’. As well as ensuring that this leaflet is available at staffed stations from the ticket office where public services are provided, and online. We will also advertise the leaflet which acts as our commitment to customers on station posters, on train services and via social media.

We will also provide an annual report to ORR on the activity and outputs of our work with disabled passengers, local communities and local authorities.

We will provide regular briefings on subjects given to frontline managers and safety critical employees. All employees receive updates on the company’s policies and procedures relating to disabled customers, diversity and inclusion through their regular briefing sessions. To support best practice and continuity of approach TfW will attend the Rail Delivery Group’s quarterly Accessibility and Inclusion Group meetings and other virtual activities for train operators. The group shares best practice across the industry to identify and solve challenges. More widely we work with the Welsh Government, Transport Focus, the Office of Rail and Road, Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Group and the Rail Delivery Group. We will make every reasonable effort to ensure that we meet and maintain the standards set out in our Accessible Travel Policy (ATP),available on our website at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/policies-and-information

A range of information including TfW accessible initiatives and reports is available on our website at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/policies-and-information

B6. Staff Training

As part of our corporate induction training for all employees entering service, a disability awareness course is included, which has been developed in with the support and partnership of Disability Wales. Written in house by our Accessibility and Inclusion Manger and Education team. It focuses on the knowledge, skills and tools that are necessary to enable our employees to assist our customers with disabilities in the best possible way.

The course aim is to build the knowledge and skills of staff across the business to enable them to best meet the needs of customers who have a range of disabilities. Doing this in accordance with both the law, the Equality Act 2010 and TfW commitment to continued improvement of our current high standards of accessibility for all our passengers.

The course objectives are that by the end of the session delegates will be able to implement and understand the Social Model of Disability in their daily activities:

  • Explain how social factors (such as attitude and design) can affect inclusion
  • Understand the requirements of customers with all types of disabilities and ‘nonvisible’ disabilities, including those temporarily disabled through illness, injury or surgery
  • Explain how they can carry out their day-to-day duties in line with the Public Sector Equalities Duty and the Equality Act and that as customer service representatives across the business we have legal duties that impact on us
  • Understand the requirements of customers with movement/ mobility impairments and provide a service in accordance with our recommended methods • Be able to demonstrate how to guide a visually-impaired customers in accordance with our recommended guidelines
  • Be able to describe a variety of techniques they can use to aid communication with passengers who have communication-related impairments (such as learning difficulties and hearing impairments) and
  • Be able to explain both where to find and how to use the resources/aids; assist customers who have a range of disabilities.

In addition to the above, our employees also undertake disability training as part of any safety critical training, competency management assessments and local safety briefings. We will ensure that staff receive the training relevant to their roles with regards to:

  • The use of equipment provided to assist people with disabilities, such as ramps, wheelchairs and induction loops communicating with people with different disabilities.
  • Communicating clearly by phone with people who may have difficulty speaking, hearing or understanding.
  • Customer Relations staff also receive specific briefings relating to their job role. For example, using a text-phone and checking databases to ensure the best possible journey advice is given to customers with disabilities.

TfW will review and where necessary, amend course content to ensure that it is consistent with the nine mandatory training outcomes set out in the ORR’s Guidance.

 

Mandatory Training Outcomes

  • Understanding disabled people and their everyday challenges: challenging misconceptions and understanding barriers to access and inclusion.
  • Equality Legislation: exploring and understanding the Equality Act 2010.
  • Defining Disability: an introduction to the various definitions of disability and the appropriate terminology.
  • Recognising passengers who need assistance: exploring physical and non-physical impairments to enable staff to assess individual needs and provide appropriate assistance.
  • Railway Regulatory Framework: understanding regulations and policies that are relevant within the railway industry
  • Passenger Assist: how it works for disabled passengers and the staff’s role in delivering the service
  • Communication: finding a way to communicate with disabled people with patience, respect and dignity.
  • Accessibility in stations: the identification of accessible features at the stations where staff work as well as at the key destination stations on the network
  • Providing safe assistance: duties and process to ensure that both staff and passengers remain safe at all times.

By 31st July 2021 all current frontline staff will have met the mandatory training outcomes set out above.

Also, 31st July 2021 all new staff, including senior and key managers, as part of their induction, will receive Disability Wales endorsed training regarding the Social model of Disability.

  • Improved understanding of the challenges faced by disabled people
  • Equality legislation
  •  Defining disability
  • Recognising passengers who need assistance
  • The regulatory framework of the rail industry
  • How the Passenger Assist service operates.

In addition, all frontline staff that interact directly with passengers will receive training that delivers training outcomes relating to:-

  • Customer and staff Communication
  • Accessibility within and around stations
  • How to provide safe assistance.

Agency staff and temporary staff receive a tailored version of the training course, including communication and providing safe assistance. This will also encompass drivers of rail replacement bus services and taxis with regards to providing assistance, should evidence of similar training not be available.

Also, Customer Relations teams who provide information or advice directly to passengers on our behalf will receive condensed versions of the training course covering, as a minimum, the Passenger Assist service and customer communication.

All staff will receive refresher training within two years of the training they have received, and as a minimum every two years thereafter; in order to ensure the mandatory training outcomes described above are maintained.

Working in Partnership with Disability Wales and members of our Accessibility and Inclusion Panel as well as national representative charities we will harness the experience and expertise of people with a range of disabilities in the development and delivery of our training courses and broad staff awareness. Our Accessibility and Inclusion Panel will provide advice and resources in support of this aim, and will monitor performance on a yearly basis.

Our training programmes will include a staff evaluation mechanism to allow us to measure its impact and identify any areas for further improvement, either through developing aspects of the course or specific additional interventions.

At the time of submitting our Accessible Travel Policy for review we will ensure that all statistics, legislation and language used in training are up to date.

This approach to training will ensure all our staff have the skills and knowledge to enable them to best meet the needs of customers with a disability and to do this in accordance with both the law and TfW commitment to further improve levels of accessibility.

By 31st July 2020, we will provide a report to ORR setting out progress against delivery of these staff training commitments.

 

Outline Training Delivery Plan

Current Induction Training. (Conventional class room teaching).

October 2019 – January 2020 Prior to the introduction of new Induction course training materials. The current induction training has been modified to better reflect the ORR mandatory Training requirement. Delivered where available by trainers with lived experience of disability.

January 2020 - Executive and Management Team Training. (Briefing / seminar teaching). Half Day Training Session, delivered in Partnership with Disability Wales. Reflecting the ORR mandatory requirement, this training will focus on the social model of disability and inclusion as per expertise of Disability Wales. Delivered by trainers with lived experience of disability.

January 2020 – In house designed, 1 day, Accessibility and Inclusion Course incorporated into all new Conductors and Stations staff Training (Conventional class room teaching). (Part of 10 week training course). Adhering to the mandatory requirements of the ORR training guidance. Delivered where available by trainers with lived experience of disability.

‘New’ Induction Training - January 2020 - All new staff to receive ‘New’ half day induction training course – This new format to reflect the ORR requirements and the social model of Disability. Delivered where available by trainers with lived experience of disability.

Customer Involvement Training (CIT) From February 2020 to embed inclusion, a program of events and opportunities designed for staff to work with and meet a range of charities and organisations with expertise in a wide range of disabilities will be initiated. This will provide staff wishing to expand their awareness of disability, inclusion and the protected characteristics as expressed within the Equalities Act 2010, with an opportunity to do so in a relaxed and safe environment. This facilitating the safe exchange of ideas and enrichment of experience as well as augmenting and actualising training.

E-learning programme – From 2020 will also be developed based on induction training / ORR requirements. This course is intended to support agency staff/ part time staff and those involved in any customer interaction on a full time of volunteer basis.

All Courses Supplemented and Enriched Through • Courses developed by individuals with lived experience and educational backgrounds within disability

  • Courses delivered where available by trainers with lived experience of disability.
  • Courses endorsed by Disability Organisations.
  • Course materials and supplementary information gained from legitimate experts within the field of disability, e.g. Disability Wales, RNIB, Dementia Friends etc.
  • Exposure Training

C. Where To Get More Information And How To Get In Touch

We are committed to providing accurate and consistent information so disabled and older passengers can travel with confidence.

The below sections outline what we have put in place to support independent travel for all our customers but especially those with a range of disabilities and mobility needs.

 

Office Of Rail And Road (ORR)

ORRs Accessible Travel Policy guidance can be obtained by following the below link https://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/41517/accessible-travel-policy-guidancefor-train-and-station-operators.pdf

 

The National Rail

The Network Rail Enquiries website (nationalrail.co.uk) and the station layout guide (‘Stations Made Easy’) contain useful information about the accessibility of facilities and services at stations and on trains.

TfW Accessible Travel Policy 46 To Contact National Rail: -

  • Tel: 03457 48 49 50 or 0800 0223720 (Open 24 hours every day except Christmas Day)
  • Website: nationalrail.co.uk
  • Text Direct: 0345 60 50 600: (for people who are hard of hearing or deaf)

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and may be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way.

We are committed to providing up-to-date information for these resources and on our own website.

If there are changes to any information, our Accessibility and Inclusion Manager updates the National Rail Enquiries website within 24 hours. This includes where:

  • stations have a physical feature which might prevent some disabled people from using it
  • significant temporary work affects station accessibility
  • changes to stations make them temporarily inaccessible (for example, if station lifts or toilets are out of order) • or changes are made to the accessibility of our trains.
  • which stations are staffed or unstaffed; station ticket office opening times.

For any of the above or to report faults affecting station accessibility, please inform either station staff or alternatively contact our Customer Relations team using the below Contact details and numbers. Station staff can get up-to-date information through a national database and can provide this information to passengers at ticket offices or Information Points. For detailed information on accessibility features of our stations, please see our Station Accessibility Information on our website https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility This information is updated regularly and can be printed as required. Alternatively, please contact our Customer Relations on 0333 3211 202 or customer.relations@tfwrail.wales Additionally please see the National Rail Accessibility Map. Available at the following link www.accessmap.nationalrail.co.uk. This map contains information about the accessibility of each station on the UK Rail Network, including if a station is step free, the availability of accessible toilets and if the station has changing places facilities.

 

Contact Details, Numbers and New Media

TfW Customer Relations

To contact the customer relations team,

TfW Social Media

On social media, follow:

Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel Service Opening Hours And Contact Details:

  • By phone: call our Passenger Assist team on 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)
  • By Next Generation Text: call our Passenger Assist team via text relay service on 18001 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)

Day Of Travel Queries Or Issues:

How To Get Involved With Us To Help Improve Accessibility And Inclusivity:

How To Provide Feedback Or Make A Complaint:

If You Are Not Happy With The Way The Complaint Is Dealt With, Please Contact The Rail Ombudsman On:

Other Documents and Publications

TfW have created a range of other leaflets to assist your journeys and enjoyment of our Rail services. Links to these leaflets can be found by following each of their dedicated links below Or by phoning our customer relations team on 0333 3211 202 or emailing customer.relations@tfwrail.wales

These Include:

  1. Making Rail Accessible: Helping older and disabled passengers
    To accompany the ‘Accessible Travel Policy document’, we have produced this shorter and more concise leaflet to help in planning your journey.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/policies-and-information
  2. TfW Accessible Travel Policy:
    A detailed explanation of our commitments and standards of rail service provision, as well as relevant policies and practices, of importance to disabled people using the rail network.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/policies-and-information
  3. Station Accessibility Information
    Dedicated station accessibility information. This information clearly indicates the features available at all our stations on the TfW network. We update this information as we find out about any mistakes or improvements.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility
  4. Train Accessibility Information
    Dedicated information about the accessibility of each of our trains in our fleet.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/train-accessibility
  5. Mobility Scooters And Wheelchairs
    A separate leaflet which can be found by following the below link, which explains that you can bring your mobility scooter on our trains as long as it meets our guidelines.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/mobility-scooter

Alternative Formats

All our documentation conforms to the Welsh language standards / Welsh Language act and are available Bilingually. Alternative formats of all our document are free of charge, from the Customer Relations team. The team can provide alternative formats such as large print, Braille or audio versions. We will provide the large-print document within seven days of receiving your request, and any other formats as soon as possible. If you would like copies of these guides or any other TfW Rail services publications in an alternative format please contact us in the following ways