Leading charity recognises TfL with Travel Exemplars’ Award
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has recognised Transport for London’s (TfL’s) commitment to improving the travel experience for blind and partially sighted passengers by awarding it with several Travel Exemplars.
The Travel Exemplars are:
• London Underground’s ’Turn up and go’ assistance service
• Travel Mentoring Service
• Travel Support Card
• Accessibility Mystery Traveller Surveys
Disabled customers who want to use the Tube don’t have to book the day before they travel, they can simply ’turn up and go’ and get assistance from station staff. Visually impaired customers can be guided to the platform and onto a train. The member of staff will radio on ahead to the station where the customer wants to get off, so that he or she can be met by another staff member and guided through the station to the exit.
TfL’s Travel Mentoring Service can offer advice to disabled individuals on planning a journey using an accessible route and can provide a mentor to accompany people on their first few journeys to help them gain confidence and become an independent traveller.
Michčle Dix, TfL’s Managing Director of Planning said: ’RNIB told us that the ’Turn up and go’ assistance service, which enables spontaneous Tube travel, is highly valued by blind and partially sighted people.
’RNIB also recognised TfL for the Travel Mentoring Service and Travel Support Card, which provides disabled customers with the tools and confidence they need to use the Capital’s public transport system more easily.’
Last year, TfL launched the Travel Support Card for people with hidden disabilities, such as learning and communication difficulties, to help them use public transport more easily. Showing the credit card-sized card alerts members of staff that the passenger may need support, and helps people with invisible disabilities to have more confidence so they ask for help. TfL worked with disability charities in developing and launching the new card, which can be printed from the TfL website. It includes space to write anything that could help transport staff to give the right support, and for customers to include their names and a number to call in times of an emergency.
TfL regularly conducts Mystery Traveller Surveys to monitor how transport staff offer assistance and information to disabled passengers and make any necessary improvements to training and development.
RNIB felt that the Mystery Traveller Surveys clearly demonstrated TfL’s commitment to monitoring and improving the user experience for customers with disabilities.
Fazilet Hadi, Group Director Inclusive Society, RNIB said: ’The ’Turn up and go’ service on the Tube is a fantastic aid to independence. RNIB greatly values TfL’s continued effort and commitment to improving the travel experience of blind and partially sighted people on London’s public transport network. We would encourage other transport providers across the UK to follow suit.’
Notes to Editors:
• Mentoring is free of charge and can be provided Monday-Friday from 08:00-18:00. The Travel Mentoring Service can be contacted on 020 3054 4361. For more information on travel mentoring, visit tfl.gov.uk
• TfL and the Mayor recently published ’Your accessible transport network’, which sets outs the services we provide and the improvements we have made, as well as investing hundreds of millions of pounds and using the most imaginative solutions and the latest technology to take the accessibility of London’s transport network to the next level
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