Improving Assisted Travel: a consultation

Date published: 15 November 2017
Closing date: 31 January 2018

This research has provided a robust evidence base on which to identify where arrangements for Assisted Travel can be strengthened. We are consulting on potential improvements.

  • We ask for views on how passenger awareness of Assisted Travel might be increased.
  • We highlight the user experience of Assisted Travel and ask what action could be taken to improve the reliability of assistance for passengers.
  • We seek views on how training for company staff could be strengthened.
  • We highlight how we are strengthening monitoring of Assisted Travel and seek views on how this may be improved further.

In 2016-17, 1.2 million requests for assistance were booked by passengers to help them complete their journeys, a rise of 4.4% compared to 2015-16 (1.1 million booked assists). The overall number of passengers seeking travel assistance will be considerably higher than this figure; many passengers will have travelled without booking assistance in advance but will have received assistance.

There is limited information available to demonstrate the level of service that such passengers receive. Therefore, over the past year we engaged external agencies to undertake a large-scale programme of consumer research. The research results have provided us with a robust evidence base to draw upon in identifying where arrangements for Assisted Travel can be strengthened. In the consultation document we seek views on potential improvements.

Note: We define assists as the number of assists which have been requested through the Passenger Assist system. Passenger bookings relate to the number of bookings made through the Passenger Assist system. For each booking there can be several assists requested.

Consultation document and research reports

Improving assisted travel: a consultation
15 November 2017

Research into passenger experiences of Passenger Assist
November 2017

A mystery shop of turn-up-and-go services
November 2017

Research into passenger awareness of assisted travel services
April 2017

How to respond

Please send your responses in electronic (or if not possible, in hard copy) format by 31 January 2018 to:

Consumer Policy Team
2nd Floor 
Office of Rail and Road
One Kemble Street

Publishing your response

Information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be subject to publication or disclosure in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

If you want information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under the FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence.

In view of this it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information, we will take full account of your explanation, but cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on ORR.

We will process your personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA) and in the majority of circumstances this will mean that your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.

Format of responses:

So that we are able to apply web standards to content on our website, we would prefer that you email us your response either in Microsoft Word format or OpenDocument Text (.odt) format.

If you do send us a PDF document, please:

  • create it from the electronic Word file (preferably using Adobe Acrobat), as opposed to an image scan, where possible; and
  • ensure that the PDF's security method is set to no security in the document properties.