Bristol Temple Meads Launches Audio Guide for Sight Impaired Travellers

Network Rail has launched an audio guide to help blind and partially sighted people navigate their way around Bristol Temple Meads Station.

This has become tougher since work began on the renovation of the station’s historic roof, prompting the arrival of scaffolding towers and new one-way systems in addition to areas of the station being temporarily closed.

To ensure the station remains as accessible as possible, Network Rail worked with Bristol Sight Loss Council (BSLC) to create this audio guide – the first of its kind in the country.

Bristol Temple Meads station
Bristol Temple Meads station

The guide consists of twelve audio files that are easily accessible from smartphones and tablets via Network Rail’s website to direct listeners safely through sections of the station.

Launching the guide on the run up to International Day of Disabled Persons, Network Rail’s hopes to continue working closely with BSLC and guide users to improve it further.

In time, it aims to roll out these guides more widely at stations across the country.

Bernadette Sachse, Network Rail’s Station Manager for Bristol Temple Meads, said:

“We want everyone to feel welcome at our stations and are constantly looking to improve accessibility for people who experience disability.

“Alongside the audio guide, all our station signage has been designed in high contrast so that it can be more easily read.

“We install tactile paving on our platforms to improve safety and have ensured that Bristol Temple Meads can be easily navigated by those using a wheelchair.

“It’s been fantastic to work with the Sight Loss Council, who have tested the audio guide to make sure that it’s as user friendly as possible.

“I hope that this useful tool allows people to feel more confident in using our railway.”

This October, Bristol Temple Meads was also named the UK’s first ‘Station Innovation Zone’ as part of five-year programme to test new ways to improve passenger experience.

Ideas included making stations more accessible with wayfinding apps, as well as making journeys smoother with smarter ticketing and using AI to improve people flow.

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