New tactile maps have been installed at railway stations in Hertfordshire and Sussex to help blind and partially sighted passengers.
Govia Thameslink Railway has made improvements at 33 stations on their network during the last year, with a total investment of £700,000
The new RNIB maps have been installed at Stevenage, Brighton, Haywards Heath, and Three Bridges.
The maps will help passengers navigate the stations easier. Additional work has been done to refurbish stairs with white and yellow strips, and the PA systems have been updated to provide clearer announcements.
New information points have also been installed, along with new clearer platform information displays.
The tactile maps have been manufactured by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). The maps include raised lines and symbols, along with braille translations of printed information.
Michelle Lee, RNIB Accessible Maps, Images and Signage Consultant, said: “RNIB has campaigned over a number of years to make rail travel more accessible for blind and partially sighted people. A fundamental part of this work is ensuring the accessibility of train stations and the support people need to get around them.
“We commend Govia Thameslink Railway for helping with this work by installing ‘RNIB Maps for All’ at four of its stations. These maps will help people with sight loss to travel independently and with confidence.”
Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “We’re listening and delivering on our pledge to make travelling easier for our disabled customers, and others with accessibility needs. These smart RNIB maps and other small but important improvements made at stations should make a real difference.”
Rail and Accessibility Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “I’m pleased to see GTR bring in this important initiative, benefiting blind and partially sighted passengers as people return to our railways.
“I am determined to ensure the rail network is open to everyone, and these maps will ensure passengers can travel with confidence through some of Sussex and Hertfordshire’s busiest stations.”
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