Northern continues accessibility efforts in preparation for return of passengers
Despite a fall in passenger numbers due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Northern is continuing its efforts to ensure that travel is more accessible in preparation for the inevitable return of passengers.
UK train operator, Northern, is continuing its efforts to transform the railway in the north of England by making the network more accessible than ever before.
Although, at the moment, travel is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, Northern is reminding its customers that work is underway to make it more accessible for them when they return.
Mobility scooter users can now travel to and from more than 100 stations across the Northern network thanks to a new accessibility scheme launched in 2020.
A new scooter permit scheme was rolled out across more than 21 routes and at a total of 140 stations along the network in October 2020, and dozens of applications have been submitted so far. Passengers can apply for a permit and their scooter will be assessed to ensure that they are safe to be carried on board.
Each user will be given a personalised sticker that will be easily identified and be placed on the pre-assessed vehicle. This will be accompanied by a card that can be carried by customers if they use scooters that don’t have a suitable place to display the sticker.
Maxine Myers, Accessibility Improvement Manager at Northern, said: “More than 21 routes across our network are now scooter friendly – and more will be rolled out in the near future as we continue to make our trains and stations as accessible as possible for our passengers.”
“The scheme has already been very popular and, although we strongly advise people to continue to follow the government’s advice to only travel if essential for work or for other legally permitted reasons, we want our customers to know that our network can accommodate scooter users to help them get where they need to be. Anyone who wants to bring their scooters on our trains should apply for a permit first so that we can check that it meets the standards that make it safe for us to take it on-board,” she added.
Regional Director at Northern, Chris Jackson, said: ““We are committed to giving people with additional mobility needs the confidence to travel by rail, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to support our customers whenever they need it. The mobility scooter scheme is an example of this commitment, and we’ll be looking to deliver improved accessibility across our network as we roll out similar improvements at other stations in the future.”