More than 400,000 disabled people travel by trains in France each year and it is the objective of SNCF to improve the accessibility and services for the disabled by 2015.
The need to provide better services for the disabled has led to a new project “Access More”; a new free service that will allow people to better organise their travel.
Three categories of passengers will benefit from this project, people who hold a disability card which proves 80% disability, ex-military who are unfit for service or war veterans and those people using wheelchairs. The aim is to develop a system that allows better accessibility to railway stations and trains.
The service offered will be to implement two objectives, guarantee a high level of service in assisting passengers at the ticket office and boarding the train and to ensure the information is transmitted to the passenger’s destination.
“Access More” is creating a dedicated centre for the disabled to arrange their travel plans by telephone, fax or e-mail until two days before departure. The call centre has 27 telephone advisors at the centre situated at Longueau near Amiens. A summary of the travel plans will then be sent to stations of departure and arrival; everyone is then aware of disabled passengers on board including train inspectors.
Since the 1st March 2007 the service has been available at three stations in three Paris stations (Paris Montparnasse, Paris Austerlitz and Paris gare de Lyon) as well as on 12 stations in la region Centre and 25 stations in Provences-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur. From June 2007 TGV stations on the Est-Européen will be able to offer the service and by the beginning of 2008 there will be more than 400 accessible railway stations.
For more information on "Access More"
or by telephone 0890 640 650 or 36 35.
- by Coral Luke
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