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01 Jul 2024

Southeastern seeks to expand membership of its Accessible Travel Advisory Panel

  • The panel is made up of people of different ages and backgrounds who live or work on the Southeastern network
  • All have lived experience of the challenges that can be faced when travelling by train
  • Members provide support and guidance to help enhance accessibility and the customer experience for all aspects of the journey with Southeastern

Southeastern is looking to expand its pool of accessible travel advisors as it continues to make improvements to work towards providing an inclusive service for everyone.

The independent Accessible Travel Advisory Panel is made up of volunteers who share their travel experiences and provide support and guidance to help enhance accessibility on trains, at stations and with digital products.

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As one of the UK’s busiest rail operators, providing more than 1,700 services every day, Southeastern is committed to delivering a seamless experience for everyone.

The panel, which launched in 2021, meets six times a year, including twice in-person, and includes members with physical disabilities, as well as people from the neuro-diverse community, and relatives or carers of people with accessibility needs.

It is looking for new members to play a part in shaping the future of accessible rail travel in Kent, London and East Sussex.

Tina Owusu, Southeastern's Head of Inclusive Customer Experience, said:

“Southeastern carries thousands of people every day and we want to make travelling by train a great experience for everyone.

“We have worked hard to remove barriers and support customers with assistance requirements, but we know there is more to do and the insights and recommendations we receive from our panel members are vital to improving the service we provide.”

The panel was recently involved in planning the refurbishment of Southeastern’s fleet of 29 Highspeed trains to improve accessibility by introducing additional features to the toilets and extra priority seating. It will also play a key part in advising on the new or upgraded trains for Metro services."

Accessibility Consultant Andy Barrow, who co-chairs the Accessible Travel Advisory Panel, added:

“It’s really important that we have this independently chaired panel to be a critical friend and offer a pan-disability perspective to Southeastern.

“Our number one priority is to ensure that disabled people are consulted at every stage of proposed accessibility changes, and that their voices are clearly heard by everyone in the organisation.”

A recent independent survey of customers across the country who had used Passenger Assistance found Southeastern was the best in the industry across several areas, including how well your needs were understood, staff being knowledgeable, receiving the expected assistance and overall satisfaction.

How to take part:

Accessible Travel Reference Group (ATRG)

The ATRG is a group of volunteers who would like to be consulted on proposed improvements to accessibility. The group gives invaluable feedback and provides suggestions regarding our trains and stations, and the assisted travel service we provide.

Anyone can join this group. For more information and to sign up complete the following survey:

Accessible Travel Advisory Panel (ATAP)

ATAP is made up of customers living and travelling on the Southeastern network. Not all panel members are disabled, but all have lived experience of various impairments, either directly or through partners/siblings/children etc. As a group, they meet six times a year and bring a diverse range of experiences of assisted travel to inform and guide our accessibility team. The aim of the panel is to improve Southeastern's knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by disabled people using their network by providing feedback on projects/changes proposed by them.

Applications to join ATAP are welcome, but there are only limited places available. To apply, please register your interest through the ATRG survey. Then the accessibility team at Southeastern will follow up in due course and send you an application form.

Contact information

Southeastern Press Office

0330 095 9091


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