This week, our Marketing Manager Claire D’All, will be reviewing the accessibility at Dundee train station. See her thoughts in Part I and II below.
We have created a small virtual tour of the inside and outside of the new train station which reveals the first and last impressions many visitors will experience when visiting and leaving the city.
Take our mini survey here or within the virtual tour by clicking on the OOVIRT icon (the smiley face icon at bottom of screen) to share your thoughts on the station.
Claire went to book her tickets a couple of weeks ago as she always has to book the train advance to make sure she has a wheelchair space reserved and the platform assistance is organised. Her first impression when entering the new Dundee train station was that it was very spacious and bright with the large windows above the main entrance, this helps create an impressive and welcoming ambience for any new visitors to the city.
There are four booking windows to allow travellers to purchase their tickets. However, Claire was concerned that if there was a large queue, that it could potentially block the entrance from the accessible parking which is directly adjacent to the service desk. There is currently no clear guidance of where to queue which could easily be installed to help avoid this issue.
When Claire was at the service desk, she found it really difficult to hear the operator at the other side of the window, which left her feeling less independent as her carer had to repeat what was being said a couple of times. Whilst the train station wasn’t busy at the time, she fears it would be even more difficult to hear should there be any additional background noise to contend with.
During the train station’s refurbishment, the temporary train station had a purchasing desk that was height adjustable, however she did not notice this in the new train station. Although Claire’s wheelchair is able to rise up so she can adjust to these issues , not everyone’s wheelchair is able to do this. These observations will be shared to hopefully see further changes/improvements made to help make the station be more accessible and inclusive.
On arrival at the train station for her trip to Glasgow, Claire was delighted to see that there are now two accessible parking spaces right outside one of the entrances to the train station. Overall, there are three entrances to the new Dundee train station, one at the front leading to Slessor Gardens and the soon to be opened V&A, one exiting to the taxi rank and the other exiting to the small car park with other parking spaces. You have to pay to park at the train station, however with a Blue Badge you can park in the accessible spaces for free.
With purchasing her tickets a few weeks beforehand, Claire headed straight towards the lift to get down to the platform. This is the only aspect of her journey that she was anxious about as she heard that the lift had already broken down twice since the train station opening a few weeks ago. Luckily, everything was working fine and she was able to get down on to the platform. However, she does wonder what happened to the previous lift that was in the temporary station? Can that be used as a backup? The new lift is significantly smaller than the previous, temporary train station lift. If Dundee is expecting a large influx in visitors with the opening of the new V&A, why are they reducing the size of the lift when more people will need it?
Once you come down in the lift, or walk down the stairs, you are greeted by the ticket gates, following which you can enjoy a drink/snack at WHSmith Coffee House, or grab a newspaper from the single WHSmith newsagent stand. There aren’t a lot of station services available at the train station, however, Claire feels that the newly refurbished platform area is looking very fresh and modern. There are new toilet facilities built on the platform within the ScotRail lounge. Claire only spotted the ScotRail lounge just before she had to get on the train, so didn’t spend much time here, but it was very quiet. The accessible toilet was fairly spacious and she will definitely go to the ScotRail lounge if she is ever early for a train again. One other issue Claire noticed when on the platform area was that there was no signage saying which side each platform was on.
The only thing to wait on now is to see when the Changing Places toilet will be added (fingers crossed it will be sooner rather than later). Overall the customer experience for Claire was a positive one and with a few small changes, the station can provide a fitting welcome to Dundee.
If you have an accessibility project you would like to share then please get in touch.