How will new Greater Anglia trains work for passengers with disabilities?
- Credit: Archant
Greater Anglia’s newest trains have received the seal of approval from a leading disability advisor after taking a trip on the new carriages.
The new trains have entered services on the route from Lowestoft to Norwich and are due to come into service across Greater Anglia's rural routes over the next few months.
The have lower level floors and a retractable step at each door, which bridges the gap between station platform and train, making them more accessible for wheelchairs, buggies and people with mobility problems.
They also have an improved accessible area and accessible toilets on every train.
Dominic Lund-Conlon, who has been instrumental in the design of the accessible features of Greater Anglia's new trains, conducted an overnight test run to give his final feedback on the sliding step which will create greater independency in boarding for many people.
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He was also testing the bespoke portable ramps, which he played a key role in designing, which have been designed to bridge the step for those who still need to board with a ramp.
Mr Lund-Conlon, who is head of accessibility and inclusion at the Rail Delivery Group, said: "Working together, rail companies are introducing 7,000 new carriages across the country and the low floor trains from Stadler are a real game changer for all customers in East Anglia.
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"With level boarding in many cases, improved customer information systems and large accessible toilets, the improvements are going to give new confidence to those travelling.
"The new trains have been designed in partnership between disabled people and rail professionals. The desire to deliver a train that is properly accessible includes better visual messaging for those with hearing impairments, stronger contrasts within the train and space for assistance animals where required."
Rebecca Richardson, Greater Anglia accessibility manager, said: "We have worked very hard with both the Stadler design team and our access and inclusion stakeholders and professionals to make sure these trains are offering a much better and more accessible journey experience for everyone.
"With the help of this group of stakeholders, I'm confident that we have now commissioned the most accessible trains in the country."