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Rail passengers using Chesterfield, Kettering and Nottingham will soon see new tactile and visual maps rolled out at their stations as East Midlands Trains completes further accessibility improvements.
The static Maps for All, which provide a guide to the main station facilities, can be read by sight or touch and have been installed in collaboration with the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People).
The maps are very carefully designed to combine both visual and tactile elements and are a mix of layers, colours with good visual contrast, textures, large raised print, Braille lettering, tactile and visual symbols. The maps are particularly useful to passengers who have not used the station before, or those who have sight loss or a visual impairment.
In addition at Nottingham Station, a pioneering project to trial audio hand-held Braille and large-print maps will also take place to help users understand the layout of the station to aid with their navigation around the station once the multi-million pound refurbishment of the station is completed.
Andy Moore, Head of Stations for East Midlands Trains, said: “We already have information zones at our stations which group information into categories such as station, train and onward travel information, but these maps will make it even easier for those who find it difficult to read information in poster format to find key information about the station they are in.”
Sue King, Tactile Images and Maps Consultant for the Royal National Institute of Blind People, said: “Blind and partially sighted people often have great difficulty in comprehending the layout of railway stations because they are unable to look around them in the same way that sighted people can. By providing these maps, East Midlands Trains is allowing blind and partially sighted people, in particular, independent access to information that is crucial when using the stations.”
In addition to these maps East Midlands Trains is also investing in improved accessibility this year through level-access waiting facilities at Newark Castle and Radcliffe stations as well as accessible toilets for Leicester station concourse.