Banbury Station to get sign language assistance

Banbury Station is trialling a British Sign Language (BSL) screen to provide the latest, up-to-date passenger information to help the deaf and hard of hearing.
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The technology allows users to download information to their devices to help with travel information beyond this station.

Chiltern Railways has installed BSL screens at various locations across the network to provide information and also to foster a more accessible environment on the railway.

The trial consists of BSL totems at four of Chiltern’s busiest locations: London Marylebone, Birmingham Moor Street, Banbury and Leamington Spa.

Banbury Station is one of three to provide British Sign Language screens for deaf travellers. Those using BSL can wirelessly download information for ongoing travelBanbury Station is one of three to provide British Sign Language screens for deaf travellers. Those using BSL can wirelessly download information for ongoing travel
Banbury Station is one of three to provide British Sign Language screens for deaf travellers. Those using BSL can wirelessly download information for ongoing travel

Figures from the Royal National Institute of Deaf People (RNID) estimate there are currently over 150,000 BSL users in the UK and for 87,000 people, BSL is their first or preferred language.

This means they may not always understand text-based information, particularly if standard customer boards are elevated or far away.

Not only are the new totems pre-loaded with standard messaging and timetable information, but these innovative screens are also interactive in providing customers with information during periods of unexpected disruption.

The screens also offer journey planning and onward travel functionality, meaning customers can view local area maps and next direct trains. An NFC (near field communication) pad on the side of the totem also allows customers to wirelessly transfer information to their phone or device by touching the pad, meaning the benefit of the machines extends far past the station concourse.

Introducing this technology marks a strong step in the right direction for Chiltern in providing customers using BSL the reassurance they need to travel confidently on the railway.

Following a successful trial, Chiltern’s aim is to explore rolling out this facility further across the network, enhancing accessibility and inclusivity in all of the regions it serves.

Steve Scutt, Accessibility and Integrated Transport Manager, said: “We know that for those with accessibility needs, travelling on the railway can be challenging, particularly during periods of disruption.

“These screens will give customers who use BSL real-time departure information and allow them to travel with confidence.

“Pending a successful trial we are determined to explore making these the new normal across our network.”