Disabled people's protection policies (DPPPs) and how they affect you as a consumer

Train and station operators are required by their operating licences to establish and comply with a disabled people's protection policy (DPPP). This sets out the arrangements and assistance that an operator will provide to protect the interests of disabled people using its services and to facilitate such use. We approve these policies and monitor compliance with them.

The guidance on how to write a DPPP forms the basis of our review and approval of operators' DPPPs.

Once we have approved a DPPP, we will publish a decision letter summarising any issues that were raised during the approval process, noting areas of good practice and highlighting areas where we feel a licence holder should particularly seek to improve its practices. We publish our decision letters.

We monitor compliance with DPPPs through our core data work, as well as via bespoke research.

In 2016-17 we are carrying out a large-scale programme of consumer research looking in depth at accessibility and assistance. This will give us a clear picture of passengers with disabilities experiences of assisted travel. It will allow 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 focus will be on the following areas:

  1. A survey of passengers who have booked assistance. This will provide insight into passengers’ experiences of the booking process, assistance provision, changing trains, and the knowledge and helpfulness of staff they interact with. It will also provide a measure of satisfaction with the overall experience.
  2. A mystery shop of  'turn-up-and-go’ (unbooked assistance) to check compliance, at an industry level, with the obligation to assist passengers who travel without booking ahead.
  3. A survey to measure levels of passengers with disabilities’ awareness of the current Passenger Assist and 'turn-up-and-go' services. This will also 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.
  4. A review of train and station operators’ websites to assess the provision and promotion of online assistance information from an accessibility perspective. This will provide a snapshot of how accessible these websites are to passengers with particular disabilities or impairments.

Information for passengers with disabilities on the types of services they can expect to receive when travelling by train is available on our website in our passengers with disabilities page.

Information for train and station operators on our role in approving and monitoring policies is also available.