Public transport presents a gargantuan struggle for so many disabled people around the world, including the 120,000 people in Britain with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). Train travel in particular is a mode of transport that is taken for granted for most. Yet it remains a huge problem for disabled people, if the station and rolling stock is not fit for easy access or staff are poorly trained or rude. No shortage of ammunition in the media recently.
Luckily, some train lines are striving to make train travel accessible for all; which is fantastic news for everyone including our charity’s members. Greater Anglia Trains is on a roll. It has recently tested a series of accessibility aids on disabled volunteers, to make sure its future Flirt UK trains are accessible for all passengers, including disabled people. The testing was a clear success, with the group – which included a wheelchair user; a blind person; and a visually impaired person with a guide dog – suggesting a number of design adjustments to the new trains.
The local council says Greater Anglia has gone much further than the law requires and its actions are in the spirit of creating the best experience and environment to those with disabilities. We wholeheartedly agree. Thank you Greater Anglia; well done and other operators please take note.
The British Polio Fellowship is committed to campaigning for change. Call 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship