Passengers with disabilities

Licensed train and station operators are required to have a Disabled People's Protection Policy (DPPP), which sets out how they will protect the interests of disabled users of their trains and stations.

Making Rail Accessible: ORR's role in enforcing Disabled People's Protection Policies (DPPPs)

We are responsible for making sure that train and station operators consider the needs of older and disabled passengers. As part of this, we issue guidance for and approve train and station operators’ DPPPs.

Each train company produces a booklet called "Making Rail Accessible: Helping older and disabled people". These booklets are available from stations and the websites of individual train companies. They explain what assistance disabled people can expect when travelling by train. For further information, and to book assistance, contact your train operator, or see the Disabled Persons Railcard website.

The assistance offered by each operator may vary slightly. However all operators must as a minimum provide the assistance set out below.

If you would like further information on our role in monitoring and enforcing the DPPPs, please see our policy page.

Passenger Assist

Passenger Assist is a service provided by train companies to passengers who require assistance with their train journey. This service has to be booked in advance, but you don’t need to give more than 24 hours’ notice for bookings through Passenger Assist.
When booked in advance, assistance should be provided at all stations during the hours in which trains are scheduled to serve the station.

Staff can help you plan your journey, book tickets and make reservations. They can also assist you at stations and onboard trains, with anything from changing platforms to finding your seat.

Passenger Assistance is free and available to anyone who needs assistance due to a disability, temporary impairment, or older age. No railcard is required. For more information ask at your local station or visit the website of your local train operator.

Alternative accessible transport

Train operators must provide, without extra charge, an appropriate alternative accessible service to take disabled passengers to the nearest or most convenient accessible station from where they can continue their journey.

This duty applies where:

  • the station is inaccessible
  • where, for whatever reason, substitute transport is provided to replace rail services (eg because of planned engineering works), and this alternative transport is inaccessible to disabled passengers
  • where there is disruption to services at short notice that, for whatever reason, makes services inaccessible to disabled passengers

Turn Up And Go (TUAG)

It might not always be possible to plan your journey in advance. Train operators must also provide assistance to passengers where this has not been arranged in advance, where reasonably practicable. This service is sometimes known as "Turn Up And Go" and it can depend on conditions at the time of your travel, such as staff availability.

Ramps

Train operators must provide ramps that are fit for purpose, available at all staffed stations (either at the station or on board the train) to facilitate the boarding or leaving of the train, whether assistance has been booked in advance or not.

Where this assistance is needed at an unstaffed station, the operator must make a member of staff with a ramp available to deliver the assistance where this has been booked in advance.

Passenger Information

Train operators must provide up to date information about the accessibility of facilities and services at stations and on their trains on the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) website. This includes the NRE’s Station Journey Planner ('Stations Made Easy'), as well as the train operators’ own website.Train operators must provide up to date information about the accessibility of facilities and services at stations and on their trains on the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) website. This includes the NRE’s Station Journey Planner ('Stations Made Easy'), as well as the train operators’ own website.

Tickets and fares

Train operators must ensure that, where disabled passengers are unable to buy a ticket at a station before their journey, they are able to buy a ticket without penalty on the train or at their destination.

Scooter Carriage

Train operators must state in their DPPP their policy regarding the carriage of scooters for mobility-impaired people on their trains. Operators are expected to make the reasoning behind their policy clear in the DPPP, particularly with regard to any policy excluding the carriage of some or all mobility scooters.

Where operators do carry scooters on trains, it is recommended that they clearly indicate whether passengers are required to transfer to a seat, rather than remain seated on their scooter while onboard the train.

Aural and visual information

Train operators should give details in their DPPP of their policies for the provision of aural and visual information at stations. This must include a commitment to providing, wherever possible, clear and consistent aural and visual information on train departures and other relevant messages, particularly in the event of delays or disruption.

Luggage

Luggage can be difficult to manage for many disabled people, so train operators must ensure that staff will be available to help when this assistance has been arranged in advance (for example through Passenger Assist).

For further information, and to book assistance, please contact your train operator, or see the Disabled Persons Railcard website.