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Passport Rules for Travel to Europe from 1st January 2021

Passport Rules for Travel to Europe from 1st January 2021

Advice for British passport holders from January 2021.

Until 1 January 2021, you can continue to travel to Europe with your UK passport until it expires.

New rules will apply for travel to Europe from 1 January 2021.

Face Coverings to Become Mandatory on Public Transport

Face Coverings to Become Mandatory on Public Transport

From 15 June, face coverings will be required while using public transport in England.

  • government asks transport operators in England to make wearing face coverings a requirement of using public transport from 15 June to coincide with the
    next stage of carefully easing restrictions
  • bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircraft passengers must wear a face covering on their journey to help reduce the risk of transmission when social
    distancing is not always possible – with government also working with operators to ensure staff are provided with face coverings where appropriate
  • guidance remains to work from home if you can and avoid public transport where possible

The government will work with operators to make it mandatory for passengers to wear face coverings when using public transport in England,
the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (4 June 2020).

Wherever possible people should continue to avoid public transport and walk, cycle or drive, but for some people this may not be an option.
Transport usage has been slowly increasing, including on the tube which has seen around a 20% rise this week compared to last week.

When necessary to use public transport people may be more likely to be in enclosed spaces for longer periods of time where we know there is
a greater risk of the spread of the virus and social distancing is likely to be difficult to follow consistently. This differs from enclosed spaces
like shops, for example, where people can more easily go outside if social distancing is not possible and where shop owners can place limits
on the number of customers allowed inside at any one time. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has set out that using face
coverings in this setting can provide some small additional protection to fellow passengers and can help people to avoid unknowingly
spreading the virus if they are suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.

Speaking at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing, Grant Shapps confirmed the government is asking operators to introduce face coverings
as a requirement for travel from 15 June 2020. The government will also work closely with the transport industry to help them implement the

The changes will be made under legislation such as the National Rail Conditions of Travel and Public Service Vehicle Regulations for buses.
While the government expects the vast majority of people to comply with the changes, operators will be able to refuse travel or issue penalty
fines for those who fail to wear a face covering, in a similar way to the rules on having a ticket for travel. British Transport Police will also
support the implementation of these changes.

Social distancing and hand washing remain by far the most important disease prevention measures but it is also vital all passengers travelling
on buses, coaches, trains, trams, ferries and aircraft should wear a face covering and the government will also work with operators to ensure
staff are provided with, and wear face coverings, where appropriate for their role.

People should wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting their face covering on and after taking it off and it is important that people
don’t touch their face covering when wearing it, where possible, to avoid hand to mask transmission of the virus.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

People should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible. But, as restrictions are carefully eased when it is safe to do so, it’s likely
that we will see more people needing to use public transport.

So, while respecting social distancing and maintaining good hand hygiene remain the most important steps we can all take to stay safe,
wearing a face covering can play a role in helping us to protect each other.

This is about the small changes we can take to help control the virus, which is why I urge everyone using transport to wear a face covering, to
help keep us all safer.

Face coverings are not the same as face masks. It is important that people do not use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain
available for frontline staff. Last month, the government set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home,
using scarves or other textile items. These face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably
and can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.

Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said:

Wearing face coverings on trains will help to ensure that those who need to travel by rail can do so with confidence. Greater use of face
coverings will boost the other measures we are putting in place to keep people safe, like more thorough cleaning, improved information on
potential crowding and one-way systems at busier stations.

See the safer travel guidance for passengers.

To ease pressure on public transport, the government has announced measures to encourage people to choose other forms of transport,
including £2 billion for cycling, and the acceleration of e-scooter trials across the country. To capitalise on the increase in cycling uptake in
recent months, the government is also working hard on measures to get more people commuting by bike with initiatives such as the Cycle to
Work scheme to help with the cost of bikes, including e-bikes.

Published: 4th June 2020

Source: Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, GOV UK

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Transport for London Update 13 May 2020

Transport for London Update 13 May 2020

Transport for London Update delivered by –
Vernon Everitt
Managing Director, Customers, Communication & Technology

“We have a plan to help London re-open carefully, safely and sustainably.

This follows the advice and messages published by the Government yesterday.

In line with Government plans to increase national rail services, we are working hard to return Tube and bus services to normal levels
under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, with many staff ill, shielding or self-isolating.  

By next week, over 70 per cent of Tube services (in line with national rail services) and 85 per cent of bus services will be running.

However, given the national requirement to maintain 2 metres distance between passengers wherever possible, the capacity on the
Tube and buses will be reduced to around 13-15 per cent, even once services are back to full strength.

This means transport must operate very differently.

In line with new Government advice, everyone who can work from home should continue to do so. Public transport should be avoided
wherever possible to free up the limited space available to those who have no alternative way to travel.

If you must travel, please plan ahead and travel outside of the busiest times, particularly first thing in the morning.  Please try to take
the most direct route and avoid busy interchanges. To help you plan your journey we will be publishing details of the busiest stations
and lines in the next few days and will write to you again with that information.

If you can, please walk or cycle for all or part of your journey, including to complete your journey if travelling into central London.
We have been introducing local improvements in partnership with boroughs to widen footpaths and provide more cycle lanes.
You can find out more here.

This is also to help support you in making the most of your local shops and outdoor spaces.

We are taking measures across our network to enable social distancing of 2 metres where possible. Please wear a face covering.
Do not travel if you have any symptoms of the virus.

You may be asked to wait to enter a station. Some stations will have one-way systems, or you may be asked to walk on the left.
We are also asking people to maintain social distancing throughout stations, for example on stairs, escalators and in lifts.

If travelling by bus, please maintain social distancing at stops and bus stations wherever possible. Currently you will also need to
board the bus using the middle doors and you do not need to tap in. When in the bus please use all available space, including the upper
deck, if possible, to maintain social distancing.

We are doing everything we can to maintain the cleanliness of our network with regular cleaning using hospital grade antiviral disinfectant.

It is also important that you continue to follow the Government advice on hygiene. Please wash your hands before and after travel and carry
hand sanitiser with you. We are also putting hand sanitiser dispensers in our stations in the coming weeks.

Please be considerate to our staff and follow their instructions. Everyone is doing their best in these difficult times.

Thank you for your help.

I will write to you again with further information in the coming days.

Yours sincerely

Vernon Everitt
Managing Director, Customers, Communication & Technology”

Source: Transport for London Newsletter

Published: 13th May 2020

4 Ways to Make Every Journey Easier for People with Dementia

4 Ways to Make Every Journey Easier for People with Dementia

Public transport can be a lifeline for many. But 1 in 4 disabled people avoid public transport because of
negativity from other passengers. Alzheimer’s Society have partnered with the Department for Transport to tackle this
important issue for people with dementia.

Travelling on buses and trains is an essential part of many people’s lives.

But for disabled people, there are barriers to public transport that aren’t limited to its reliability or infrastructure.

1 in 4 disabled people say negative attitudes from other passengers prevent them from using public transport.

Disabled people travel up to a third less than non-disabled people.

1 in 5 people in the UK are disabled. But not every disability, such as dementia, is visible.

Better experiences on public transport can help people retain their independence, combat loneliness and live
well with dementia.

4 simple ways everyone can help people with dementia and other conditions
whilst travelling

1. Be patient and take your time

Support people living with dementia and other conditions by allowing them some extra time, should they require it.

This could be while using ticket barriers, finding a seat or getting onto a bus.

2. Be considerate

Being aware of your fellow passengers can provide opportunities to be more considerate.

You could offer help if someone looks lost, or keep noise levels low if anyone looks visibly distressed.

People living with dementia could get confused whilst travelling, or might just need some quiet space to feel calmer.

3. Be prepared to give up the priority seat

Dementia is one of many disabilities that is not visible.

Please be aware of other passengers and be prepared to give up the priority seat to anyone who might need it.

When possible, keeping clear of priority areas can help people feel welcome on public transport.

4. Respect accessible toilet users

An accessible (disabled) toilet is not just a facility for wheelchair users.

Please respect the fact that not all disabilities are visible and you may not always be aware of someone’s accessibility needs. 

We all have the power to collectively create a more supportive travel environment for people living with dementia, and other conditions. 

Published: 26th February 2020

Source: Alzheimer’s Society

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Coronavirus: What are Your Travel Rights?

Coronavirus: What are Your Travel Rights?

All non-essential foreign travel from the UK should be halted, according to advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

It comes amid mass cancellation of flights as new cases are being diagnosed around the world every day. So what does the outbreak mean for your travel plans?

What are my travel rights?

In general, insurers and airlines take their cue from official UK foreign travel advice.

If you go against it, you risk invalidating your insurance policy.

If the advice is against “all but essential travel” and your trip is essential, some insurers will still maintain cover.

Your rights can also depend on your choice of airline and the small print of your insurance policy – so do read it carefully.

Where should be avoided?

The FCO is constantly updating its advice and is ruling out all but essential travel worldwide for at least a month.

If your flight is cancelled, the airline should offer a refund.

Airlines also have a duty of care to get passengers home if a return flight is cancelled, unless the passenger has accepted a refund for that return trip. Rescue flights are being organised for those struggling to get home from certain destinations around the world.

As well as UK government advice, other countries have their own restrictions. For example, there are strict EU restrictions in place.

More about coronavirus:

Can I rebook instead?

Many airlines, including British Airways, EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic, are currently letting passengers rebook flights for free.

Many hotels in areas under lockdown are offering refunds or the option to rebook. But if the hotel and its location are open, and the booking is non-refundable, travellers may lose out.

Insurers are telling customers they should ask their holiday provider or airline for refunds or rebookings first. Even when travel tickets are refunded, there can be other costs, such as hotel rooms and car hire, which travel insurance may cover.

“People should keep all their travel invoices and receipts to help the claims process go smoothly,” says Laura Dawson, of the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

You might find insurers take a different view on when you can put in a claim. Some will look at it within 28 days of your planned departure. Others ask the traveller to wait until 48 hours before, just in case the FCO advice changes.

Have insurance companies changed cover?

A host of insurance companies have stopped selling new policies, or altered cover, in the wake of the outbreak.

The key is “disruption cover” which should pay out for costs such as unused hotel bookings or car hire. Many policies do not have this as standard.

Some insurers have limited or changed cover for claims relating to the disease. This may mean that a trip booked now may not be covered for disruption, even if you have a valid annual travel insurance policy.

Many have suspended travel insurance sales completely for the moment, including the Post Office.

The Association of British Insurers said that travel insurance is for unforeseen circumstances and coronavirus no longer met that criteria.

Will my insurance cover me if I miss my flight home because of quarantine?

It very much depends on the type of holiday you booked and the type of travel insurance you have.

Most insurers advise customers to check their policies carefully to see what kind of coverage they get.

A policy’s travel delay coverage should outline how much can be reimbursed for additional expenses – such as nights in hotels or meals – if you cannot leave on your scheduled day, according to consumer organisation Which?.

Published: 20th March 2020

Source: BBC News

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Transport for London Update – 20th March 2020

Transport for London Update – 20th March 2020

Transport for London would like to thank you for following the government’s advice not to travel unless your
journey is absolutely necessary. 

Ridership on services has fallen dramatically over the last few weeks. This is helping fight the spread of the
virus, protecting the NHS and maintaining safe and reliable transport for health, logistics and other critical workers. 

Only travel if your journey is absolutely essential. If you do travel, follow the expert advice on hand washing and
other health measures. Transport for London are running reduced services and closing a number of stations, and
also still need to undertake essential engineering work at weekends.

However if you need to travel, this information will help you get around London around the, 21st and 22nd March,
and the following week.

Always check Journey Planner and use travel tools to plan your journey.

Please continue to help Transport for London and their hardworking staff maintain this action in the weeks and
months ahead.

Stay safe and only travel if it is absolutely essential.

Changes to services

From Friday 20 March, the Waterloo & City line will be closed and there will be no Night Tube or Night Overground
services until further notice.

From Monday 23 March, Transport for London will also gradually reduce other services across the TfL network. 

Their extensive night bus service will continue, in order to provide critical workers with a reliable night option as
they continue to support the city throughout Covid-19.

These measures allow them to keep helping critical workers make their essential journeys, and keep the most
used stations and services open and running.

For the latest information on what Transport for London are doing to tackle Coronavirus on our network, check
back to their Covid-19 page

London Underground

Bakerloo Line

From 23:00 on Saturday 21 until 09:30 on Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Stonebridge Park and
Harrow. This is due to Network Rail engineering work. Use local buses and plan your journey.

Metropolitan Line

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Wembley Park and Aldgate. This is due to
track replacement work. Use alternative Tube or local bus routes.

Northern Line

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Moorgate and Kennington. This is due to
Bank station works. Use alternative Tube or local bus routes.

See the latest status updates on London Underground, including a map of closures.

London Overground

Network Rail is carrying out work which will affect the following London Overground services. 

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between:

  • New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace/West Croydon. Rail replacement buses will run between New Cross Gate and West
    Croydon via Crystal Palace
  • Romford and Upminster. Use local bus routes 165, 248 or 370
  • Euston and Watford Junction between 23:00 on Saturday and 09:30 on Sunday. Use local buses and plan your journey

On Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Liverpool Street and Enfield Town/Cheshunt (via Seven
Sisters)/Chingford until 10:15. Use alternative Tube or local bus routes. Rail replacement buses will run between
Hackney Downs and Enfield Town/Cheshunt, and also between Hackney Downs and Chingford. 

From Monday 23 until Thursday 26 March, there will be no service between:

  • Hackney Downs and Enfield Town/Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) after 22:30 each night. Use alternative Tube or local bus
    routes. Rail replacement buses will run between Hackney Downs and Enfield Town/Cheshunt

Sydenham and West Croydon after 23:30. The last two trains to West Croydon, from Highbury & Islington (23:17)
and from Dalston Junction (23:38) will not run. Use local buses to continue your journey.


On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Bank and Shadwell. This is due to Bank
station works. Use local bus route 15 to Tower Hill to access the District line at Tower Hill. Alternatively, use DLR
services to Tower Gateway and walk to nearby Tower Hill station.

TfL Rail

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, there will be no service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. This is due to
track work, overhead line enhancement and Crossrail station works. Rail replacement buses will run between Stratford
and Romford, and between Newbury Park and Shenfield.

See an overview of planned track closures for the next six months.

See the latest status updates on London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and Trams, including a map of closures and
information about rail replacement buses.

Buses and Roads

Bus and road users may be affected by the following changes this weekend. We expect to run a good service, but
buses may be delayed, diverted or stop short of their normal destination.

London Bridge – Until 31 October 2020, London Bridge is closed to general traffic (except buses, licensed taxis,
motorcyclists and cyclists). Diversions are in place and there are changes to the junction either side of the bridge.
Please take extra care when driving while all users, including pedestrians, get used to the new layout. 

Drivers using Blackfriars Bridge or Tower Bridge should expect queues while crossing the river. Travel outside of peak
times and use alternative river crossings including Vauxhall, Westminster and Lambeth bridges where possible for an
easier journey. This is for essential maintenance works being carried out by the City of London Corporation.
Please visit our London Bridge works page for more information.

Purley – Until Monday 6 April, there will be a number of phased road closures on Brighton Road every night between
21:00 and 05:00. This is due to resurfacing works on the roundabout system.

Clapham – Until Monday 30 March, Clapham High Street will have various restrictions in place between Clement
Avenue and Edgeley Road every night from 20:00 until 05:00. This is for works to modernise the pedestrian crossing.
There will be lane restrictions and temporary traffic lights on some nights during the works.

North Circular Road – From Monday 23 until Friday 27 March, North Circular Road will have various restrictions in both
directions between Abbey Road and Blackmore Drive each night from 22:00 until 05:00. This is for railway bridge
inspection works.

On Monday 23 March, lanes three and four will be closed westbound overnight. On Tuesday 24 March, lanes one and
two will be closed westbound
overnight. On Wednesday 25 March, lanes three and four will be closed eastbound overnight. On Thursday 26 March,
lanes one and two will be closed eastbound overnight.

Chiswick High Road – From 09:30 on Tuesday 24 until 18:00 on Saturday 28 March, lane one on Chiswick High Road
will be closed. This is due to Cadent Gas works. 

White City – Until Sunday 22 March, the A40 will be closed westbound from the A3220 roundabout to Perryn Road
every night between 22:00 and 05:00. This is for cycling and walking improvement works between Acton and Wood Lane.
Diversions will be in place. Consider taking the A4 if driving from central London. Plan your journey ahead of time.
Find out how your bus may be affected by visiting our  status updates page.

Check whether your bus is affected.

See the latest status updates on road travel.

Santander Cycles

The following docking stations will be out of service this weekend:

  • Old Brompton Road, Kensington – for utility works
  • Harrowby Road, Westminster – due to road resurfacing work
  • Hereford Road, Westminster – for utility works
  • Vauxhall Street, Lambeth – for utility works
  • Kensington Gore, Westminster – due to a power outage

Find out how to hire a Santander Cycle.

See the latest update on docking station availability.

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Published: 20th March 2020

Source: Transport for London

£20m Government Funding to Make 124 Stations More Accessible Across GB

£20m Government Funding to Make 124 Stations More Accessible Across GB

Announced today (Feb 26th) by the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, disabled passengers across GB are set to benefit from accessibility improvements at approximately 124 stations.

The funding comes from the Access for All programme and will include new lifts, accessible toilets and customer information screens and follows a new campaign launched this week, aiming to improve the journeys of disabled passengers on public transport.

Since 2006, the Access for All programme has made more than 200 stations step free and delivered smaller scale accessibility improvements at more than 1,500 others to improve passenger experience.

The £20m funding announced today is part of a £300m package announced last year that has already provided accessible routes at 73 stations across GB, improving the travel experience for disabled passengers on the UK’s rail network.

Mr. Shapps said: “The ability to travel easily from A to B is an essential factor for our day to day lives – but is not the reality for everyone. I recognise that we have much more to do, which is why we’re making 124 train stations across the country more accessible – a key part of levelling-up access for disabled people to transport and opening up opportunities for all.

This is just the start of a much more ambitious agenda. My goal is to go much further in the years ahead to help ensure that our country’s transport system becomes one of the most accessible in the world

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “Everyone using our rail network deserves platforms and toilets they can use and this £20 million investment to improve 124 railway stations across the country will make a huge difference to disabled people.

“This government is committed to levelling up the playing field and later this year we’ll launch a national strategy which will ensure disabled people have equal access to all spheres of life.”

READ MORE: Government campaign launched to increase inclusivity on public transport

Published: 9th March 2020

Source: Rail Technology Magazine

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Travel Certificate – Advice for Stoma and Continence Care

Travel Certificate – Advice for Stoma and Continence Care

Important information and advice for Travel Authorities from Respond Healthcare.

Published: 10th February 2020

Source: Respond

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Going on Holiday – Advice for Stoma and Continence Care

Going on Holiday – Advice for Stoma and Continence Care

A useful Travel Guide with information to help you if you have a Stoma or have continence issues.

Published: 6th February 2020

Source: Respond

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Delta launches virtual queuing as part of digital improvements

Delta launches virtual queuing as part of digital improvements

The new feature is part of the Fly Delta app transformation into a digital concierge. The launch comes on heels of the global airline’s vision for the future of travel outlined at CES 2020.

With the new virtual queueing feature going live on the Fly Delta app, Delta customers are now being notified when their seat is boarding – not just their flight.

“We continue to put boarding under the microscope – looking at how technology can help alleviate some of the crowding at the gate that all of us have experienced,” said Rhonda Crawford, Vice President – Global Distribution & Digital Strategy. “Customers have told us that being notified when their seat is boarding will help reduce the stress of that experience.”

Virtual queuing is akin to being notified by a restaurant with a pager when your table is ready, so you can relax close by instead of waiting at a crowded entrance or lobby. It comes on the heels of the global airline sharing its vision for the popular Fly Delta app to transform into a digital concierge from CES 2020 – the planet’s largest tech stage.

Virtual queuing adds to recent Fly Delta upgrades like integrating real-time TSA wait times in Seattle and New York – LaGuardia, offering pre-select meals and launching international auto-check-in – all designed to make travel more personal and seamless.

Delta will continue using the same boarding order and associated colours launched in January 2019, that reflect the branded fare purchased, while still prioritizing customer loyalty.

This is just one step in the Fly Delta app’s transformational journey into a digital concierge that anticipates customer needs, offers convenient services like a ride to the airport and delivers thoughtful notifications, keeping customers moving seamlessly on their journey.

From the CES keynote stage, Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian shared that customers have told Delta they want Fly Delta to become their ‘home base’ for managing their travel day – and that’s why the app is evolving to become the ultimate travel companion for all points of the journey.

Published: 18th January 2020

Source: Flight Chic

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Award-winning student design offers a new take on accessible cabins

Award-winning student design offers a new take on accessible cabins

An award-winning adaptable wheelchair design by Irish designer Ciara Crawford offers a new take on accessible aircraft cabins, and aims to encourage airlines to make it easier for passengers with limited mobility to fly with dignity.

The so-called Row 1 airport wheelchair system would allow passengers to use the same electrified wheelchair to get from the airport check-in desk to the aircraft to their destination, eliminating the need for multiple seat transfers.

This innovative chair can be altered quickly on the aircraft by removing the larger wheels at the back. It is then fitted directly onto the passenger seat.

Smaller cast wheels in the bottom frame allow the chair to be eased into position and used for mobility in-flight.

Images credited to Ciara Crawford

The design was Crawford’s final year project in college, and was inspired by both her work in the aviation sector and the experience of a family member.

“I was working as a concept developer for an aircraft parts manufacturer, and attended AIX [Aircraft Interiors Expo], and noticed the lack of focus on accessibility in the aircraft industry,” Crawford tells Runway Girl Network. “I have a cousin who is in a wheelchair and doesn’t travel for that reason, so I started looking into it. I knew I couldn’t change what was already there but needed to work with what is already on an aircraft – something that could be added to the aircraft very easily.”

Mindful of the practical requirements, and after reviewing a few models of existing aircraft seats, Crawford set about to design something that would fit onto the front row of most economy class cabins on long-haul aircraft. Crawford believes it would be managed like other aircraft, telling RGN: “It would be going to the airline [as their equipment] and it will be a service they would offer. It would have to be brought back by the airline. They would monitor how many they need and ensure that it’s going where it needs to go.”

Images credited to Ciara Crawford

To give limited mobility passengers greater control Crawford envisions the chair as being electrically powered, using batteries which are cleared for airline transport in the aircraft cabin. With this feature, limited-mobility passengers would be free to arrive to the gate unattended. A handheld control in one of the armrests would allow passengers to drive their chairs.

Once on board the aircraft, the passenger would need assistance with removing the back wheels. But the caster system on the back of the chair would make it easier for an assistant – either a travel companion or airline staff – to fit the wheelchair onto the seat.

The design earned Crawford recognition as the “2019 Emerging Product Designer of the Year” from the European Product Design Awards; it earned the 2019 Platinum Prize in Transportation, Aircraft/Aerospace.

Images credited to Ciara Crawford

Paul Priestman, co-founder of London design firm PriestmanGoode, which developed the Air Access integrated wheelchair aircraft seat concept for the 2012 Paralympic games and has been an active advocate for accessibility in air travel for years, tells RGN that he’s gratified to see more designers focus on solving the issues of accessibility.

“What I find encouraging is that a lot of people are coming to the same conclusion as us, that this is a possibility,” he says. While Priestman characterizes the delays in adopting workable solutions as frustrating, he feels generally optimistic. “Things are beginning to change because a lot of people are realizing that this is becoming a rights issue.”

As Priestman points out, other forms of mass transport have become accessible through regulation and airlines face the possibility that regulations will ultimately compel airlines to act. “It will only take one country,” he says, and others will join in drafting laws. “It’s only a matter of time.”

“I think one of the big issues is that the majority of people aren’t aware of the issues because people using the wheelchair are boarded before and deplane after,” he  says. “One of the ways of tackling this is to remind people that everyone at some point will need to have assistance.”

For Crawford, the recognition her design has received has opened up new opportunities to meet people in the airline industry who are equally committed to raising awareness and ensuring progress. “It has been massive,” she says. “I’ve heard from potential users, aircraft manufacturers…the interest has been great.”

Images credited to Ciara Crawford

Published: 15th January 2020

Source: Runway Girl Network

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Special Assistance at Airports

Special Assistance at Airports

RiDC have been working with Which? on an investigation into what air travel is really like for disabled and older travellers. 

The panel members answered in their hundreds and it clearly struck a nerve. A full range of good and bad experiences of special assistance at a number of UK airports was received. 

The research

The research uncovered that there are far too many barriers for disabled and older people with restricted mobility to feel comfortable travelling. When it comes to special assistance it was clear that communication between the airlines and airports is failing a lot of travellers.

In September 2019, RiDC contacted their panel members by email and received 363 responses in total. Data published by Which? was about people’s satisfaction with five UK airports:

  1. Heathrow
  2. Manchester
  3. Luton
  4. Gatwick
  5. Stansted

Feedback was received about other smaller airports but the sample size was too small to draw any valid conclusions and was not published.

Click here to read the press release on the Which? website.

Practical guidance

Below you can read some practical guidance from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on what you to do when arranging special assistance and what to expect from a number of airlines and the main UK airports.

When to ask for assistance?

You need to ask for assistance either when you book or at least 48 hours before travel, whether it is through a travel agent, tour operator or airline. This information will then be passed to the airport and the service provider.

If you don’t give advance notice you could experience delays and may not receive the service that you need.

How do I request help?

It is up to you to find out how to request help. Airlines, travel agents and tour operators should provide a free method of requesting assistance when you book (or at later stage). You may be asked about about special assistance during the booking process but this isn’t standard practice so you may need to make a request.

If you are booking on a website, look out for a special assistance link for information on how to get the type of help that you need.

Your travel service provider may ask you to telephone them or their agent or complete a web form. Many airlines provide a Freephone or local rate number for you to call to notify them of your assistance needs. Some airlines also offer a free call-back option.

Request and keep written or printed confirmation of your assistance booking.


What can I ask for?

It is important that you are clear about the type of help that you need. This will help avoid delays and ensure that you receive appropriate support. Many airports also provide additional information tailored specifically to people with hidden disabilities.

This could include:

  • transfer from a designated point, such as car part or bus stop, to the terminal building
  • the use of an airport wheelchair to get to the gate
  • extra help getting through security searches
  • assistance with boarding the aircraft and getting seated
  • specific seats on the aircraft

Airlines will need to know:

  • you are taking an electric mobility aid (e.g. an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter)
  • your condition means that you need extra care and attention

Questions that you may wish to consider in advance include:

  • Are on-board wheelchairs available on all aircraft? These are used to move people to the toilet during the flight.
  • What are the walking distances to departure gates? Airports should provide this information on their websites.
  • Does the airport uses air bridges or steps for passengers to board aircraft?
  • The number and type of accessible toilets at the airport and on board aircraft.
  • What restrictions (e.g. safety, weight, space, battery type) apply to the carriage of electric mobility aids.
  • The airline’s policies on carriage of oxygen.
  • The airline’s policies in relation to compensating for damaged mobility equipment.
  • The types of seats available and how the airline allocates these.
  • Restrictions on medication at security searches (especially relating to liquids).

Published: 10th January 2020

Source: RiDC

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Guide to Airport Apps

Guide to Airport Apps

With passengers expecting real-time information and reliable connectivity at their fingertips, applications for smartphones and portable devices are frequently being introduced by airports.

With a wide range of features, many airport apps offer passengers the ability to forward plan, check in, schedule parking and even purchase
duty-free items before they arrive at the airport.

Within this section of the magazine, we hear from three different airports regarding how they are using apps, and the feedback they have received
so far:

  • The benefits of airport apps in a technologically-driven world
    Tara Hernandez from Gerald R.Ford International Airport details how the airport’s app drastically improves the passenger journey; ensuring flying from the
    airport is not a stressful experience.
  • Providing passengers with peace of mind
    Kate Hall, Marketing and Communications Manager at Newcastle International Airport, discusses how to develop a successful airport app and use it to create the
    perfect passenger experience.
  • Active on WeChat
    Following the ever-increasing significance of social media, Brussels Airport discusses how branching out beyond social media channels can benefit both airport and passengers.

To read this Guide in full, Click Here and complete a form via International Airport Review.

Published: 16th December 2019

Source: International Airport Review

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Travel Tips

Travel Tips

From the Ileostomy & Internal Pouch Association Support Group.

Or Click Below to download a .pdf copy.

Source: Ileostomy & Internal Pouch Association

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PDF Link: file:///H:/Steve/Website%202019%20-%202020/Content%20Pages/Travel%20News/IA-travel_tips.pdf

Your Guide To Flying With A Disability

Your Guide To Flying With A Disability

In partnership with the UK Civil Aviation Authority QEF (Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People) have produced a film that gives wheelchair users, especially powered wheelchair users, information and insights about travelling by air and the support available. With unique access to a real life flight, follow Jon and his Dad through every aspect of their journey, highlighting what’s involved and including useful links to more information you may need. 

You can watch the film in different ways, either from start to finish so that you can see everything involved, or in specific segments that focus just on the information you need most. The film is subtitled throughout.

Watch the film in full here:

Alternatively, click on the images below to watch the sections that are most relevant to you: 

1 Being flight ready: Here we look at the preparation and planning required before booking a flight

Useful information about specialist insurance can be found here

If you need to speak to a continence advisor information can be found here

2 At the airport: here we look at what’s involved in arriving at your departure airport, checking in and going through security

Useful information on how to deactivate and reactivate your wheelchair can be found here for all makes and models:

3 Boarding and seat transfer: Here we look at the process of being moved out of your wheelchair into a transfer chair to board the aircraft, and how the airport special assistance teams may transfer you to your seat

Useful information on how to deactivate and reactivate your wheelchair can be found here for all makes and models:

Information about the availability and locations of The Eagle Hoist at airports can be found here.

4 In-flight and landing: here we look at what you need to consider during your flight, including seating and accessing the on-board toilet

To discuss options around seating support solutions prior to flying contact QEF’s Tryb4uFly assessment team

If you need to speak to a continence advisor information can be found here

5 Disembarking and arrivals: here we show you what to expect when exiting the aircraft and entering the terminal at your destination

Useful information on how to deactivate and reactivate your wheelchair can be found here on the BHTA website.

Information about the availability and locations of The Eagle Hoist at airports can be found here.

If you have any questions contact the QEF at

Published: 8th January 2019

Source: QEF (Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People)

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Supporting People with Hidden Disabilities at UK Airports

Supporting People with Hidden Disabilities at UK Airports

This report summarises the progress made by UK airports in meeting the requirements and recommendations set out in CAP1411 – CAA Guidance for airports on providing assistance to people with hidden disabilities. It also lists the key assistance services available for people with hidden disabilities at airports.

Or Click Below to download a .pdf copy.

Published: 11th June 2018

Source: CAA (Civil Aviation Authority)

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CONNECT – Summer 2018 / No.90

CONNECT – Summer 2018 / No.90

Toilet Signage and Can’t Wait Cards Make Travel with IBD a Little Easier.

– Pages 6&7

CONNECT is the membership magazine from Crohn’s & Colitis UK.

Published: Summer 2018

Source: Crohn’s & Colitis UK

For more information on receiving CONNECT magazine:

Travel and IBD

Travel and IBD

If you have Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, you are probably concerned about the challenges of travelling. A change of climate, water or food can upset anyone’s bowels. Yet many people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease travel widely, both in the UK and abroad. They may go for a short break or a long holiday lasting weeks or months. With careful planning ahead it should be possible for you to travel to most places. Before you leave, speak to your doctor about a flare-up plan. This will mean you know what to do if your IBD symptoms worsen while you are away. This information sheet seeks to answer some of the questions that you may have about going on a trip. It also includes suggestions for people who have a stoma or have had surgery. You will find a travel tips checklist on the last page.

Or Click Below to download a .pdf copy.

Published: December 2017

Source: Crohn’s & Colitis UK

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Using Mobility Scooters and Powered Wheelchairs on the Road

Using Mobility Scooters and Powered Wheelchairs on the Road

The requirements for people who use mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs to get around.

This guidance is for anyone using or thinking of using a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair.

It includes information about:

  • where you can use your mobility vehicle
  • taking mobility vehicles on public transport
  • insuring and registering mobility vehicles
  • legal requirements

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

Published: 10th March 2020

Source: GOV UK

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Transport Designer has been Thinking about the Challenges that Passengers with Reduced Mobility Face when Travelling by Air

Transport Designer has been Thinking about the Challenges that Passengers with Reduced Mobility Face when Travelling by Air

London-based transport designer Priestmangoode has been thinking about the challenges that passengers with reduced mobility face when travelling by air.

“Air Access by Priestmangoode”

Air Access is a concept that facilitates air travel for passengers with reduced mobility by enabling an easier transition from gate to aircraft. Air Access is a much needed concept for the future of air travel that aims to meet the needs of an increasingly older and less mobile population. The concept design aims to reduce the indignity and discrimination that passengers with reduced mobility face when travelling by air.

Short-listed for the Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award 2013
IDEA Award winner 2013

Download press release

Published: 12th September 2012

Source: YouTube

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