Govia Thameslink makes £700,000 railway station accessibility improvements

Govia Thameslink railway station improvements

A new RNIB tactile map has been added to Stevenage railway station. - Credit: Govia Thameslink

Govia Thameslink has invested £700,000 to make improvements to a number of railway stations across Hertfordshire for blind and partially sighted passengers. 

Thirty-three stations in total have been made more accessible, including new and updated Royal National Institute of Blind People tactile maps, yellow markers on stairs, improved public address systems and clearer platform information displays. 

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 added: “I’m pleased to see Govia Thameslink bring in this important initiative, benefiting blind and partially sighted passengers as people return to our railways. 

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“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.” 

Stevenage has seen a further RNIB map added to the station, with one now on the main concourse in addition to one by the lifts. 

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Manufactured by the Royal National Institute of Blind People, the raised lines and symbols mean the maps can be used by blind and partially sighted passengers. 

Michelle Lee, RNIB accessible maps, images and signage consultant, said: “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.” 

Improvements made to stations in our area are as follows: 

  • Harpenden - Accessible toilet built 
  • Hatfield - Improved public address system 
  • Hitchin - Improved platform information screens 
  • Letchworth - Better platform information screens and improved public address system 
  • Potters Bar - Grippier surface on station ramps 
  • Radlett - Improved public address system 
  • Royston - Better platform information screen and improved public address system 
  • Stevenage - Update of tactile maps and improved public address system 
  • Welwyn Garden City - New wayfinding signs  
  • Welwyn North - Extra seating 

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