Rail provider enters legal agreement with Equality watchdog

Published: 22 Jul 2020

The railway company LNER, which serves journeys to the North of England and Scotland from London, has signed a legal agreement with us to improve its service for disabled passengers.

Following a legal challenge from a visually impaired customer who received inadequate support and assistance while travelling with the service, LNER will be required to improve elements of its assisted travel service and to refresh its accessibility and inclusion training to its customer facing staff.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

“Disabled people must be treated like everyone else and not like second class citizens. Under the Equality Act businesses must make reasonable adjustments so that disabled people aren’t unfairly disadvantaged. We’re pleased to see LNER are taking proactive steps and working with us to improve access to its services and facilities so its services and facilities are accessible to customers with different types of disability.”

A spokesperson for LNER said:

“LNER is pleased to be working with the Commission to further develop and improve the provision of our services to disabled customers. LNER aims to be the most accessible rail operator in the UK. Signing this agreement with the Commission signals our ongoing commitment to making that aim a reality.”

We have warned transport operators that it will “vigorously defend” the rights of disabled and older passengers against companies who fail to offer accessible services, as part of our efforts to assist individuals who have experienced discrimination while using public transport.

We have provided funding to resolve complaints, with the help of advice and correspondence using all available routes, as well as taking legal action with the funding of a solicitor or counsel.

The project was part of our wider activity to encourage improvements to the transport industry’s policies and practice so that the needs of disabled and older people are key considerations in the current and future design of public transport.

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