Virgin Trains manage 11 stations on the East Coast route. In order to improve accessibility, they teamed up with RNIB to create accessible maps that would help blind and partially sighted people find their way around easier.
Our research showed that a quarter of blind and partially sighted people said that they were not able to travel by train as much as they would like. To address this issue sensitively and practically, we set about looking to create accessible station maps that would help blind and partially sighted people locate what they are looking for more efficiently.
The RNIB Maps for All provide key information such as the location of platforms, toilets, shops and cafes using a mix of raised large print, braille and tactile symbols. They are located close to the station entrances to help travellers prepare for their journey more easily.
A total of 18 RNIB Maps for All have been installed in 11 of the stations that Virgin Trains manage. Three maps will soon be installed at Newcastle upon Tyne station, completing all 11 managed stations. The maps have won praise for being designed in such a way that both sighted and people with sight loss can use the maps to find their way around.
Debbie Ambler, Virgin Trains Programme Delivery Manager, commented by saying: “We are committed to working with partners like RNIB to find new ways to make journeys more accessible and enjoyable for all our customers. The tactile maps at stations across our network allow blind and partially sighted customers freedom and independence when travelling. Both at stations and on board our trains, we encourage our people to go the extra mile to offer brilliant service to all our customers. We also have a dedicated team that disabled customers and their friends and family can contact in advance to plan for their journey.”
Tactile images, maps and touch installations enhance the experiences that people with sight difficulties have, making their visit more engaging, informative and stimulating.
Learn more about how we can help you create tactile images and maps.