No Cover Image

Journal article 60 views 10 downloads

Accessibility and informational barriers to an age friendly railway / Charles Musselwhite, Kelly Roberts

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Volume: 22, Issue: 2, Pages: 114 - 129

Swansea University Authors: Charles Musselwhite, Kelly Roberts

Abstract

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...

Full description

Published in: Quality in Ageing and Older Adults
ISSN: 1471-7794
Published: Emerald 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa57687
Tags: Add Tag
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Abstract: 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.
Keywords: ageing, railway, public transport, railway station, mobility, accessibility, information provision
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Funders: Great Western Railway
Issue: 2
Start Page: 114
End Page: 129