Stroud Train Station

Stroud Train Station

Stroud Train Station | 29th August 2018

Location: Station Rd, Stroud GL5 3AP
Date of visit: 29th August 2018

Parking

There is a car park on either side to the train station, each side having two disabled parking bays. You can park for free here with a blue badge permit, you are required to enter your registration at the machine and get a ticket.

Accessibility

On arrival at Stroud station it is immediately obvious the accessibility issues you are faced with as a wheelchair user. It is a small train station with only 2 platforms, one either side of the station. There is a footbridge which is up a flight of stairs to take you from one platform to the other and there is no ramp or lift option. I looked around the station for some instruction on an alternative to get to the other side of the station other than the stairs, to which I could find nothing. It was only after I was informed by a member of the public that there was a noticeboard on the outside of the station with some instruction, this is located close to where taxis are stationed and is not easy to see or get to.

On this noticeboard is a map on how to get to the other side by leaving the train station and heading towards the town centre, walking under an underpass and round to the other side of the station. There are several issues I faced whilst attempting this journey:

–          Firstly, looking at the map it was not clear which side of the station I was on, a ‘you are here’ icon would be useful on the map on the noticeboard.
–          The map is not very big, it was impossible for me to read with a sight impairment. Large printed options should be provided in the station for people to take.
–          On the map it advises you to take the left-hand side pathway on Station Road, there is no dropped kerb to mount the pathway on this side making it physically impossible for most wheelchair users to use this path.
–          Travelling along the right-hand side of the pathway we were faced with a mountain of rubbish which belonged to the flats above, a member of staff from a taxi office kindly helped us to move the rubbish bags which were swarming with flies.
–          Following the map I then crossed the road along Russell street on the left hand-side, when turning onto Rowcroft I was then faced with a dead end in terms of a footpath. Forcing me to turn around to try and find another route.
–          I then travelled further along Rowcroft in the opposite direction to find a dropped kerb to cross the road safely. These roads are busy with lots of traffic, this could be quite daunting for somebody travelling alone in a wheelchair.
–          Once you reach the bottom of Rowcroft which is a long steep decline you cross the road again to travel back up a steep incline on Cheapside, this long incline could be challenging or even impossible for somebody in a manual wheelchair.

 

Accessibility

This journey took between 10-15 minutes, if you arrived at the train station unaware of these problems you’re faced with it would be easy to miss your train. Missing your planned train is more complicated as a wheelchair user than it is for a regular passenger as you need to call the assisted travel line ahead of time meaning they would be expecting you at the other end and you would also need to re-book the assisted travel for the next train you intend to board instead.

There is only one self-service ticket machine located within the station which is on platform 1, this would be inconvenient if you needed to buy a ticket from the station and travel from platform 2, this would require doing the 15-minute walk outside of the station and back again.

Ticket office opening times are as below, if you are travelling outside of these times and needed information for example on how to get to the other platform this would prove difficult. You can call the assisted travel line which is open 06:00am-11:00pm who are able to give some direction over the phone, however this is national line and not specific to Stroud so it is likely the operator will not have been to the station itself.

Day Opening Hours
Weekdays 06:00 – 18:00
Saturday 07:00 – 14:30
Sunday 09:45 – 17:00

 

There is a help point on each platform, this is placed very close to the bin on platform 1 and not very easy to get to in a wheelchair.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet on platform 1 with a sign on the door ‘key available from ticket office staff’. Meaning the toilet is out of use when the ticket office is closed. Inside the toilet is very spacious with plenty of room to turn your wheelchair around in and for somebody to assist you. The soap, toilet roll dispenser and hand towels are too high for somebody in a wheelchair. The handrails are at an appropriate height as well as the emergency cord, the lighting was sufficient, and the hygiene level was standard.

Café

There was a café on platform 1 but this was not open when I visited. This would also be no good for passengers in a wheelchair travelling from platform 2 due to how long it would take them to get to the café.

Accessibility Rating

(one out of five stars)

https://goo.gl/maps/UTjmjpVzYkJ2

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Shopmobility – Gloucester

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Shopmobility | 5th December 2017

The Shopmobility office which is located on Hampden Way just off Eastgate Street. The surrounding areas, pavements etc leading to the office were okay but a little uneven.

I originally emailed Shopmobility on an email address that I found on the Gloucestershire Gov website to enquire about their services and to get an application form to which I had no response. I went down to the office instead, there is a ramp which leads into the office which was perfectly suitable for my wheelchair. The office however was quite small and not very easy for me to navigate my wheelchair around.

The equipment is kept under a shelter outside during the day, they have mobility scooters, powered wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs available to hire. It is the responsibility of the customer and/or carer to transfer themselves into the appropriate equipment.

The shop assistant advised me that there was a transfer banana board available. However, when I asked to view this they couldn’t find it in the store room. There was also a side transfer ramp available.

Personally as a permanent wheelchair user I wouldn’t feel comfortable transferring and using the Shopmobility equipment but I would recommend this service for the elderly and less mobile to assist them with getting around.

 

Accessibility Rating

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Stagecoach

Stagecoach

16th August 2017

I was very impressed with the customer service provided by Peter Allen, the training coordinator at Stagecoach. So firstly, a big thanks to him and also Roger who assisted.

Peter talked me through the three day training programme for staff. Day One is focused on Customer Care and Service. Day Two is specifically focused on Disability and Social Inclusion. Day Three is focused on dealing with any difficult situations the drivers may encounter. I think that all of these factors show that Stagecoach really care about their customers and in particular helping the disabled community.

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They take into consideration all aspects of disability whether this be physical or behavioural. Drivers ensure there is no discrimination and are taught how to deal with all situation. This encourages all members of the community to feel safe and comfortable on Stagecoach buses.

There is an easy-to-find contact address on the website: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/regional-help-and-contact/west  – this can be changed to any area code, I am pleased to say there is a specific disability contact line and email address which is:

Telephone: 01452 418630 – Email: west.disabilityhelpdesk@stagecoachbus.com

If you call this helpline Stagecoach will arrange an out of service bus for a disabled user to practice getting on and off the bus.This way when using a scheduled bus the customer will feel prepared and won’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable. For wheelchair or mobility scooter users or the less mobile the driver will get off the bus and assist with the ramp and also the suspension will be lowered to the curb. All wheelchair and mobility scooter users are able to use the buses free of charge with a bus pass.

Getting my 600mm wheelchair on and off the bus was fairly easy, it was slightly tight to the door of the bus but apart from that there was plenty of space. The driver made sure I was in a safe position before driving off.

Stagecoach have a policy that if a wheelchair/mobility scooter is not able to fit within the designated area due to another customer already using the space, they will call a taxi service free of charge and wait with them until the taxi arrives. The exception to this may be if it is a regular ten or twenty minute service the driver may ask if the wheelchair user doesn’t mind waiting until the next bus. However, they will never leave a wheelchair user at the side of the road without organising some type of transport.

Stagecoach were kind enough to give us their presentation slides relating to disability customers that they present in their training programmes.

Gloucester bus station is currently under major reconstruction, however the accessibility around the station is suitable. There is plenty of space and raised areas on and off the platforms

Accessibility Rating

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Gloucester Train Station

Gloucester Train Station

2nd August 2017

My overall experience of travelling in a wheelchair from Gloucester Train Station was good. The Station Master, Mike, was helpful from start to finish and advised me on how I could contact the Assisted Travel helpline. The train station and the trains are kept clean, tidy and safe to ensure a pleasant journey.

Accessibility

I called the Assisted Travel helpline a few days ahead of my journey to inform them of my requirements.

Once I got to the train station I informed the station master of my arrival. He advised me which platform my train was departing from. As the train was arriving, the station guard approached to assist me. Then he laid out the ramp and helped me on the train safely. There was a designated area for wheelchair users on the train to sit comfortably. I received the same good service when exiting the train at the other end.

There are four disabled parking spaces at the train station. However, the parking and entrance leading up to the station are the biggest downfall. The disabled parking is located on the far side of the car park and you have to cross the busy and uneven car park with no walkway.

There are two large, wide, automatic doors leading into the train station with a flat entrance. There was an easy access, low reception point where I was able to purchase my train ticket easily. There was a large electronic ticketed gate for an electric or manual wheelchair to fit through.

There was a lift to all platforms, it was large enough for my PA and me. It was also large enough for me to turn around safely in my wheelchair. The buttons for the lift are all at a height that I could reach from my wheelchair. There was a speaker inside and outside the lift to notify you of the doors opening and closing and the lift going up or down. Exiting the lift leads you to a wide footbridge which leads you over the train lines, safely to the other platforms.

All walkways are wide and there are also easy access, indoor waiting rooms.

With the loud noise of passing trains this may not be suitable for people that don’t like loud noises.

Toilets

There were two disabled toilets, one located in the male toilets and one in the female. The facilities in both were good. However, this was not ideal as my female PA would have to enter the male toilets to assist me.

There are handrails for both transfer sides. The sink and soap dispenser are both accessible for a wheelchair user but the hand dryer was too high.

There was a workable lock on the door therefore this doesn’t require a RADAR key. There was good lighting and they were clean and safe to use.

Café

There was a small café serving hot, cold drinks and sandwiches. This was located just inside the entrance to the Train Station. There were two accessible double doors and there were small round tables suitable for a wheelchair user.

There were no menus as such therefore no larger print or braille menus.

Accessibility Rating

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