Disabled people's protection policy (DPPP)
Train and station operators are required by their operating licences to establish and comply with a disabled people's protection policy (DPPP) which must be approved by us.
A DPPP sets out, amongst other things, the arrangements and assistance that an operator will provide to protect the interests of disabled people using its services and to facilitate such use.
The 2009 Guidance on how to write your DPPP forms the basis of ORR's review and approval of operators DPPP. Here we provide information aimed at train and station operators about complying with these requirements. Operators should also refer to our July 2014 regulatory statement.
Information for disabled and older passengers, on the types of services they can expect to receive when travelling by train is available on our website in our passengers with disabilities section.
The approval process
Approval of DPPPs for new franchises or new operators
Newly licensed operators or those with new franchise awards must establish and comply with a DPPP. The licence condition sets out the steps required.
To allow us to monitor train and station operators’ compliance with the DPPP licence condition, we carried out a large-scale programme of consumer research looking in depth at accessibility and assistance. This gave us a clear picture of passengers with disabilities’ experiences of assisted travel. The research allowed us to build up a strong evidence base to help us prioritise and target regulatory interventions that may be necessary to improve the experience for passengers with disabilities.
Our research focused on the following areas:
- A survey of passengers who have booked assistance. The findings helped to provide insight into passengers’ experiences of the booking process, assistance provision, changing trains, and the knowledge and helpfulness of staff they interact with. It also provided a measure of satisfaction with the overall experience.
- A mystery shop of ‘turn up and go’ (unbooked assistance) checked compliance, at an industry level, with the obligation to assist passengers who travel without booking ahead.
- A survey to measure levels of passengers with disabilities’ awareness of the current Passenger Assist and turn-up-and-go services. This was also used to investigate any potential barriers to travel for passengers who do not use these services and investigate ways in which information about them could best be presented and disseminated.
- A review of train and station operators’ websites to assess the provision and promotion of online assistance information from an accessibility perspective. This provided us with a snapshot of how accessible these websites are to passengers with particular disabilities or impairments.
A mystery shop of turn-up-and-go services
Once we have given our approval to a DPPP, we will publish a decision letter. The letter will summarise any issues that were raised during the approval process, note areas of good practice or highlight areas where we feel a licence holder should particularly seek to improve its practices.
- Approval of West Midlands Trains Limited's DPPP 08/12/2017
- Approval of First MTR South Western Trains Limited's DPPP 09/08/2017
- Approval of Locomotive Services (TOCs) Limited's DPPP 03/08/2017
- Approval of Arriva Rail North DPPP 19/06/2017 (updated 10/07/2017 to amend a typo)
- Review of First Greater Western DPPP 07/06/2017
- Review of Caledonian Sleeper DPPP 10/04/2017
- Review of Chiltern Railways DPPP 17/03/2017
- Review of Tyne and Wear Metro DPPP 28/02/2017
- Review of Eurostar DPPP 28/02/2017
- Review of Grand Central DPPP 16/01/2017
- Review of Virgin Trains DPPP 28/11/2016
- Approval of Arriva Rail London (London Overground) DPPP 27/10/2016
- Review of TFL Rail DPPP 24/10/16
- Review of Arriva Trains Wales DPPP 20/10/2016
- Approval of Greater Anglia DPPP 06/10/2016
- Review of Glasgow Prestwick Airport DPPP 29/09/2016
- Review of Virgin Trains East Coast DPPP 29/09/2016
- Review of Hull Trains DPPP 20/09/2016
- Review of South West Trains 20/09/2016
- Review of Stobart Rail DPPP 26/08/2016
- Review of CrossCountry DPPP 18/08/2016
- Review of London Midland DPPP 08/08/2016
- Review of Network Rail DPPP- 04/08/2016
- Approval of Rail Operations Group DPPP 25/07/2016
- Review of Merseyrail DPPP 12/07/2016
- Review of c2c DPPP - 02/06/2016
- Review of Review of Govia Thameslink Railway and Southern DPPP- 25 May 2016
- Review of ScotRail DPPP- 18/05/2016
- Review of Southeastern DPPP - 22/04/2016
- Approval of Northern DPPP - 17/03/2016
- Approval of TransPennine Express DPPP - 15/03/2016
- Review of East Midlands Trains DPPP - 10/03/2016 Updated 01/10 to reflect changes to Consumer Rights Act
- Review of Great Western Railway's DPPP - 17/02/2016
- Review of LOROL's DPPP - 01/02/2016
- Review of FTPE DPPP - 29/01/2016
- Approval of MTR Crossrail CHP and DPPP - 27/05/2015
- Approval of Abellio ScotRail CHP and DPPP - 30/03/15
- Approval of Serco Caledonian's CHP and DPPP - 05/03/2015
- Approval of c2c's DPPP - 29/08/2014
- Approval of Govia Thameslink Railway Limited's DPPP - 22/08/2014
- Approval of LOROL's DPPP - 03/07/2014
We are also responsible for monitoring licence holders’ compliance with their approved policies. In order to carry out this monitoring, we ask licence holders to submit data which we refer to as ‘core data indicators’. These core data indicators collect a wide range of information. Specifically linked to accessibility, we collect core data indicators regarding:
- The volume of complaints about accessibility received by licence holders;
- Data about the number of journeys for which a Disabled Persons Railcard was used;
- The volume of assisted journeys provided by licence holders; and
- Information about the disability awareness training provided to staff by licence holders.
We will also:
- hold regular meetings with Transport Focus and London TravelWatch to discuss their views and research;
- review additional market research relevant to ensuring disabled people can travel confidently on the railways; and
- on occasion we may require additional information from operators, where possible we intend to rely on the information operators' already produce to monitor and evaluate complaints and their procedures.
A newly licensed operator, or newly awarded franchise, may have limited experience or data on which to develop its DPPP. For this reason, we would expect an operators of a newly approved DPPP to review its effectiveness in providing assistance within a suitable period, to allow for changes in light of experience.
- Condition 5 of the Station and Passenger licence: Statement of National Regulatory Provisions (SNRP)
Letter in relation to Condition 5 of the Statement of National Regulatory Provisions for passenger and station licence holders, and the Code on Design Standards for Accessible Railway Stations – joint letter from ORR, Transport Scotland and the Department for Transport.
21 November 2017
- Condition 5 of the passenger and station licences - Disabled People’s Protection Policy (DPPP)
Letter to Govia Thameslink Railway Limited's (GTR) regarding compliance with condition 5 of its passenger and station licence -
10 November 2017
- Licensing general authority
- Rail Delivery Group - Eurostar SNRP modification notice - 6 February 2013
- Modifications to the ‘operators of last resort’ passenger train licences and SNRPS - 29 January 2013
- Notice of modification of Network Rail Infrastructure Limited's network licence - 29 January 2013
- Notice of modifications to passenger train licences and SNRPS - 29 January 2013
- Rail Delivery Group (RDG) statutory notice - 16 October 2012
- Exchange of letters with Abellio UK regarding compliance with Condition 5 of the Station and Passenger Licence: Statement of National Regulatory Provisions (SNRP).
- Information for disabled passengers
- Regulatory statement
- How to write your disabled people's protection policy: a guide for train and station operators
- Disabled Persons Protection Policies (DPPP) industry workshop note – Monday 9 March 2015
- Disabled People's Protection Policy compliance and approval process
18 December 2014
An open letter to all train operators setting out: changes to the Disabled People's Protections Policy approval process; and, areas where some operators may not be compliant with the requirements of Condition 5 of the Passenger and Station licences and the Statement of National Regulatory Provisions.
- Response to ORR's open letter of 18 December 2014, from the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC)
12 January 2015
- Summary of DPPP workshop
- Speech by Anna Walker from ORR's workshop on DPPP
- For further information or to speak to us, please email DPPP@orr.gsi.gov.uk.
In January 2014 we commissioned independent research to give us insight into disabled travellers' awareness of the assistance available when travelling by train to inform our work in this area. Links to a summary document, and the full report, can be found below:
- Disabled rail passengers' awareness of assistance from train operators
- Disabled travellers' awareness of rights - report by Accent