New assistance app to transform train journeys for disabled passengers

Network Rail is supporting a trial aimed at revolutionising passenger assistance while travelling by train. 

The rail industry is trialling the Passenger Assist app through four train operators – West Midlands Railway, London Northwestern Railway, Greater Anglia and South Western Railway.

The app will enable disabled passengers to book help at railway stations making travel less stressful and less likely to go wrong.

It includes features to make it more accessible like the ability to change colour themes, fonts and text sizes.

The app was developed by technology company Transreport in collaboration with disability charities including Disability Rights UK, Blind Veterans UK and Anxiety UK.

Currently, customers can book over the phone or online but this can be a time-consuming process taking up to 40 minutes by phone. When booking this way the assistance required has to be specified every time.

With the current system if plans change or trains are delayed there is no way to update these details and support staff can end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The new system will allow customers to create a user profile, specifying their personal details and what assistance they require making recurring bookings quicker and easier.

Passengers will also be able to provide staff with live information so that they can accommodate short-notice requests.

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