Archive for June, 2010

Train travel and Hearing Dogs

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People are working closely with Passenger Focus with the aim of raising awareness about the needs of deaf and disabled people who require assistance when booking train travel. Please take the time to fill in the questionnaire, invite others to take part also.

Once HDfDP have the results it will hopefully strengthen their position when they lobby both the train operating companies and Government, to ensure that the needs of deaf people accompanied by hearing dogs are included, particularly with regards to space for their hearing dog.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Philip at philip.biggs@hearingdogs.org.uk

PhotobucketI’ve had a few problems when travelling by train. This tends to be with other passengers rather than when booking. In my experience,  the train companies are more than happy to give my hearing dog a free ‘seat’ to sit so he is out of the way of other passengers. In practice, this doesn’t always work. My dog is very jumpy and nervous on trains because other people are always stepping on him. On one occasion a couple had jumped on the train in my carriage, and the empty seat next to me being the first one they saw, the man demanded that I get out and give his wife the empty seat. I said no as I had a hearing dog on the floor next to me, tucked out of the way. He grabbed my handbag and my arm, and proceeded to pull me out of my seat. Other passengers started shouting at him to leave me alone. There were plenty of empty seats on the train. My dog was disturbed by the commotion and got out and into the aisle, making it difficult for anyone to go anywhere. The man and his wife did go off to find other seats – without an apology – it was then that I noticed he was wearing a hearing aid. Oh, the irony!

Click on this weblink  www.passengerfocus.org.uk/assistedtravel

If you answer ‘NO’ to question one you will only have access to a limited amount of pages.

Click on the title ‘Passenger Focus Assisted Travel Survey’ in the middle of the page. That will direct you to the homepage of the survey.

For many disabled passengers, the assistance provided by the Assisted Passenger Reservation System (APRS) is crucial in enabling them to travel on the National Rail network. Train companies ask passengers who require assistance to book at least 24 hours in advance using APRS. We would like to know what you think about the service.

Recognising the value and importance of this service to passengers who require assistance to use public transport, Passenger Focus undertakes regular research into the service and we are repeating that work this year.

In addition to this research we have worked with voluntary groups to create a survey which can be used by other organisations. We are supporting organisations who wish to run the survey so that they can get direct feedback from their members. There are just 24 short questions about the service and a space to say more if you choose to. So please take part and tell your friends about the survey too. The Assisted Passenger Reservation Service (APRS) provides vital assistance to disabled people using the national rail network by providing them with a facility to pre-book assistance for their journey.

It takes only a few minutes to do and the closing date is Friday 2 July 2010.

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