National Rail helps to deliver exceptional paralympic games

National Rail helps to deliver exceptional paralympic games

With a significant increase in capacity, high levels of punctuality and the provision of special assistance to thousands of passengers, the railway has helped to deliver the biggest and best Paralympics. • Train companies provided more than five million extra seats over the Paralympics, almost 48 million in total, to carry thousands of spectators every day to and from events.
• Since the first day of the Paralympics, the available data shows that the punctuality and reliability of National Rail was, on average, 93.8%.
• Since the opening ceremony, train companies have provided assistance to thousands of passengers with disabilities who required help to get to events and home again, with over 6,300 bookings for assisted travel handled over the Paralympics.
• Research suggests that around three out of five spectators used National Rail to travel to Games events - a larger share than Tube or roads.
• A total of 561,000 spectators took advantage of special 2012 Games train tickets to travel to and from the Olympics and Paralympics.

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive, Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “With the eyes of the world on Britain, the railway has played its part in delivering the biggest and best Paralympics. Train companies and Network Rail increased services to carry many of the record number of Paralympic spectators who cheered on the largest gathering of Paralympians ever. We aim to use the experience of the Paralympics and the millions of pounds recently invested in improvements to continue to make rail travel easier for those with accessibility needs.”

£380m will have been invested by the government up to 2014 in creating accessible stations involving more than 100 schemes. No other country has invested in improved station accessibility in this way.

98 National Rail stations are now accessible in London, defined as offering access to all key platforms from at least one entrance. All major London terminals are accessible and all major airports serving London have accessible stations. Just under half of stations in Britain now have step-free access to the station.

Since 1998, 5,762 units which meet Rail Vehicle Accessibility Requirements (both brand new and modified units) have been put into service.

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Train companies encourage people with disabilities to travel by train by offering discounted travel. Four million journeys per year are made using the Disabled Persons Railcard, up from two million five years ago. Train companies have provided assistance to 250,000 journeys per annum, delivering more than 800,000 individual assists.

Since 2005, ATOC and train companies have:

• Delivered a new station access tool ‘Stations Made Easy’ to provide detailed information to older and disabled passengers to help them better plan their journeys
• Introduced a new passenger assistance booking scheme which enables on-line assistance bookings and delivers improved quality service to older and disabled passengers – one of the most comprehensive in the world
• Launched a new website – Rail Travel Made Easy – which helps passengers better understand the range of help and support available to them when using rail services
• Delivered the industries first comprehensive disability awareness training package through the training DVD – “Everything you wanted to know about disability but were afraid to ask”