More than 600 Network Rail employees have volunteered to become Travel Champions for London 2012, enthusiastically supporting visitors travelling through London railway stations during the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year.
Network Rail acknowledge that inheriting the railway infrastructure which dates back from the 1800s would bring its challenges – and have seen through an extensive programme of investment in modernising and rebuilding Britain’s railways.
Network Rail is also aware that inclusive customer service plays a great part in helping overcome access barriers in the built environment disabled people have to face.
Wideaware Training having previously developed e-learning for the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) were asked to design a solution to complement customer service training the Travel Champions would be receiving.
Maria Zedda, Managing Director at Wideaware, said: “We are delighted to be able to collaborate with Network Rail to develop a type of online training that is truly engaging and realistic, helping travel champions understand the challenges disabled travellers face during their rail journeys and throughout London. With the current access barriers in London’s transport and infrastructure, and the sheer number of visitors expected to arrive during the London 2012 games, volunteers need to be prepared.
The ability of Network Rail’s Travel Champions to effectively support disabled travellers, their families and friends in a way that is appropriate will be crucial to ensure everyone can enjoy and experience the Games as equally as possible and relish this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
We know that whenever there are access barriers and prejudice and assumptions towards disabled people, inclusive customer service can make a huge difference”.