Journal article 261 views 104 downloads
Accessibility and informational barriers to an age friendly railway
Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Volume: 22, Issue: 2, Pages: 114 - 129
Swansea University Authors: Charles Musselwhite , Kelly Roberts
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DOI (Published version): 10.1108/qaoa-02-2021-0015
PurposeAgainst a backdrop in an increase in the number of older people in the United Kingdom (UK) and an increase in the amount of travel per person for this age group, the number of older people using the railway is in decline. This investigation is a first step towards ascertaining why through aud...
|Published in:||Quality in Ageing and Older Adults|
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PurposeAgainst a backdrop in an increase in the number of older people in the United Kingdom (UK) and an increase in the amount of travel per person for this age group, the number of older people using the railway is in decline. This investigation is a first step towards ascertaining why through audits of issues and problems on rolling stock and station platforms. DesignRolling stock and station audits were carried out by older people across a rail network in the South West of the UK. A total of 72.2 hours of auditing took place across different sizes of station and different types of rolling stock. FindingsTwo main themes were found across both rolling stock and station audits, accessibility and information provision. With regards to accessibility, boarding and especially alighting from the train was the key issue. Across stations and in rolling stock luminance a key issue for older people, including places being too dark or moving from places that were bright to dark. Use of stairs at stations between platforms, especially when the station is crowded was an issue. In terms of information, key issues were found with signage being too cluttered, small, hidden and inconsistent and audible announcements being difficult to decipher. ImplicationsThere must be improvements made to railways to help older people feel more safe and secure using them. It is suggested step free and level accessibility is found boarding and alighting from the train, but also from station entrance to carriage. Better signage is needed throughout the station and on trains, with large repeated fonts used. Lighting needs to be revisited throughout to ensure areas are githr and well lit both on station platforms and onboard. Further research needs to look at these findings in relation to slip, trips and fall accident rates. There is very little research on older people’s perceptions and barriers to railway use. This adds value in being one of the only studies to do so, and from the perspective of older people themselves.
ageing, railway, public transport, railway station, mobility, accessibility, information provision
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Great Western Railway