Putting Rail in Reach of People
The railway is a key way for people to access employment, health services, education and leisure. It should be accessible to all. This includes:
- Physical accessibility for the less able, elderly and those with children and luggage. This goes beyond step-free access.
- Supporting vulnerable groups and contributing to inclusivity through accessibility.
- The availability of information on services, disruption and connections before and during travel. People increasingly expect accurate, up to date and personalised information.
- The affordability of travel by rail and simplicity of the fares system.
These issues should be understood from the differing perspectives of all user groups including commuters, business travellers, leisure travellers, and freight customers. We also need to consider potential users, such as jobseekers and young people.
For passengers, we need to be delivering for a population where 20% of people have a disability and 7 million people will be over 75 by 2024. If the measures put in place are to be trusted they must work during disruption as well as normal operation.
For freight services, the location and connectivity of distribution centres and ports is critical. The closer a hub is to the ultimate customer and the fewer the interfaces, the better.
Addressing these issues will help to remove barriers to travel by rail, encouraging all sections of the travelling public and freight transporters to see rail as a potential part of their journey.