19 April 2023
Some of the country’s busiest railway stations, including Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street, now have British Sign Language travel announcements.
From the start of April, touchscreens have gone live for deaf passengers at eight Network Rail managed stations, showing signed travel information of the latest advice for travellers. Euston station was the first to pilot the technology in 2021, and now all four stations in Network Rail’s North West and Central region have installed the screens – the first region to achieve the milestone.
The touchscreens have been developed over the last three years with Nottingham-based screen manufacturer LB Foster. Sign Language interpreters have created a library of standard messaging as part of the screen software which can be seen instantly. But the main selling point is that a team of interpreters are on standby to make bespoke signed information as situations evolve or during periods of unexpected disruption. Within an hour messaging can be turned into British Sign Language and the videos uploaded directly to the screens using 4G technology.
Dave Penney, Network Rail’s North West and Central region passenger director, said: “I’m really proud that the pioneering work started by the team at Euston station two years ago has now been rolled out at stations across the country to benefit deaf passengers who rely on British Sign Language.
“We know that rail travel can be daunting for anyone with specific needs, and I really hope this makes a difference to give people confidence to travel by rail. We are always developing new ways to improve accessibility so it’s great this initiative is being adopted far and wide.”
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