At a time when some passengers are finding travelling by train and using stations difficult, due to COVID-19 precautions, and those with disabilities and special needs are finding it even harder, train operator Northern has showcased its commitment to inclusivity with the installation of special sign language artwork at Bingley station.
In addition, the train operator has launched a new video that highlights the assistance available to disabled customers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as well as providing reassurance to those returning to the railway.
Working in partnership with Friends of Bingley Station, Bingley Town Council and representatives of the local community, Northern has installed new artwork which shows the full alphabet in British Sign Language.
Travellers can then use those references to answer simple questions, also posed in sign language, showing that anyone can easily learn to communicate with the deaf.
The scheme, which was completed with the help of schoolchildren across Bradford – in particular Beckfoot School in Bingley – aims to raise awareness of hidden disabilities and promote inclusivity within the local community and across the rail network.
Richard Isaac, community and sustainability manager at Northern, said: “We wanted to make Bingley station, and Northern services in general, welcoming for all. This project clearly shows that, in bringing together communities, the railway can deliver something really special that reflects the true character of people in the local area.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the volunteer team at Bingley and to all who made these fantastic displays a reality.”
The work at Bingley is a good example of Northern’s driver to make its trains and stations inclusive and accessible for all.
Speaking of the launch of the new video, Mark Powles, customer and commercial director at Northern, said: “For our customers with disabilities, being able to turn up to our stations and use our Passenger Assist service is a huge part of their independence.
“We’re regularly told how helpful the service is, whether it’s pre-booked or on the spot assistance, so we’ve developed an accessible travel video to explain how customers with additional needs can access help and support from Northern.
“The video outlines that our colleagues are still there to support customers with accessibility needs and that Northern is ready to welcome them back to the railway. It also highlights the additional cleaning taking place across our trains and stations and encourages customers to wear a face covering, while noting that we are understanding of those who are exempt.”