Wheelworld Railway

Boarding the train as a commuter

Posted in Access For All, News by Wheel World Dad on November 10, 2010

I’m going to refer to a BBC article here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11676437

This is about the getting off and on trains quickly.  But I notice an absense of any recognition about those who are mobility impaired – the visually impaired, the infirm, the older person, the wheelchair user.  Where is the consideration of our boarding?  It’s still not independent.  It’s still reliant on someone with a ramp.  And what happens when commuters shove in to try to get on board whilst I’m trying to get off the train?  I get held back, the train gets delayed and – yep – you’ve guessed it – people complain because of this.

So – open invite here: I invite anyone from a major news channel service – BBC, CNN, ITN – give me a comment with a number – it won’t get published.  Lets talk about how you might like to see a disabled commuters story.

Railway improvement

Posted in Access For All, Business, Conferences, Public Service Events by Wheel World Dad on May 25, 2010

Today I attended the Railway Improvement Conference 2010 put on by Public Service Events.  It was well attended by many local authorities and representative groups as well as businesses.

The day started off slow with very little mention of what was important – indeed Christian Woolmar who was chairing was slightly more annoyed at people getting hyped up about HS2 and High Speed Rail in general.  I felt this actually detracted from the day.

The Workshop I attended (Smart Ticketting sponsored by Novacroft) was, however, very good.  There was little sales and a lot of discussion about smart ticketting, the types and the methods of delivery as well costs.  This began to make up for the High Speed discussion.

The afternoon was when it got interesting.  Ashwin Kumar from Passenger Focus spoke first about increasing passenger ratings.  This was quite interesting for me as it provided information that I didn’t quite know about how they find out the information and calculate the pretty graphs.

Chris Green then discussed about Stations – this too was interesting as he highlighted about doing the basics, especially in a time when we have less money.

The Panel was where the event livened up – because someone (who wasn’t me) asked about persons with learning disabilities using Ticket Vending Machines and how they were expected to.  I offered a (hopefully useful) comment about how we need to offer such routes out of these but also that we need to consider about the next 5 years or so – because we need to begin to make changes now.  I also explained about how people in that room over the next 20 years we need to be ready for the growing numbers of disabled people.

I also asked about how, with a train every 15 seconds, the ODA expect persons with disability to be assisted quickly and with dignity.  It was quite a difficult question to answer – indeed the  answer was “we’ll leave it up to those who know – i.e. the TOCs”.  But at least I wasn’t given rubbish.

A good day, a good event.

Just as I was leaving, an emailed arrived from East Coast Trains announcing how the APRS will be down this weekend.  I passed this to Ashwin and left…