East Midlands Railway (EMR) has created a new area at Nottingham station designed to provide a welcoming space for passengers who require assistance or need a calm place to wait for their train.
The Assisted Travel Lounge, which has been installed on the dispersal bridge at the station, provides customers who have booked passenger assistance a designated waiting area and a clear meeting point.
A member of staff will be on hand at the lounge to provide support for customers, with special consideration given to passengers with developmental, physical or impairment disabilities.
Seating of various heights has been chosen to meet the needs of different customers, while the lounge has also been designed to be spacious – providing easy access for wheelchair users, mobility scooters and those with walking frames or visual impairments. Indeed, the lounge was created working in a collaborative way with EMR’s Accessibility and Inclusion panel – listening and acting on its advice.
The station team has also worked hard to make the aesthetic of the lounge as calm as possible – choosing relaxing vinyls, contrasting colours and plants.
The new lounge accompanies other work at the station to improve accessibility for disabled passengers, including tactile paving being fitted so all platforms now include it.
The paving is designed to help visually impaired people to travel safely and independently, while ensuring that important safety information, such as proximity to the platform edge, is conveyed in a non-visual way.
Liz Silver, from Nottinghamshire Disabled People’s Movement, has a visual impairment and uses a long cane to help her get around. Along with other members of the group, she was invited to tour the new lounge and provide her feedback to the station team.
She said: “It is great that access issues are being addressed and that disabled people are being consulted and action taken as a result. I was particularly pleased with the range of seating in the new lounge. Some of it was higher than standard and this means that the seating can accommodate a range of access needs for different people.
“It’s also really positive that all the platforms at the station now have tactile paving along the platform edge, it will really reduce my stress levels when catching a train.”
Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director for East Midlands Railway, said: “We are delighted to open this lounge and provide our customers who require assistance a clearer way to get support.
“We understand that for some customers a station can be a very difficult place to navigate or visit. That’s why we have made sure to design the lounge so it provides a calm and reflective space, away from the hustle and bustle of the main booking hall.”