I have been involved in assessing how age friendly our railways in Great Britain, through both examining accident data and through carrying out audits of rolling stock and stations by older people themselves. The accident data suggests older females are especially over represented in accidents both on the train and on the platform. The most common accident for older people are slips, trips or falls on the stairs but on trains and at station frontages are especially high for older females. Station audits suggest a huge variety in how age friendly stations are. Older people noted signage as crucial for reducing anxiety and stress and highlighted examples where there are way too many signs placed in a small area and where signage was too small. Older style white and black with a large font, with symbols, repeated throughout the station to allow continuity was preferred. On the whole stations were clean and well maintained but information about next trains was sometimes obscured. On train audits varied depending upon rolling stock. Comments were made on making sure seats were available and that it was easy to see that was the case. Cleanliness was important and that varied hugely between rolling stock. Announcements were often inaudible and scrolling text for next stations was on occasion too fast to read. Often toilet doors were too heavy to open, especially new rolling stock that have sliding doors. Noticeably the step from the platform to the train was often very large, making boarding and alighting difficult and stressful. There was high concern about escalator accidents at Reading station. A full audit with older people took place. The is a move to stop people using luggage on the escalators and encourage more use of lifts. A blog on escalator safety is found here where you can see what we recommend. Journal article Musselwhite, C.B.A and Roberts, K. (2021). Accessibility and Informational Barriers to an Age Friendly Railway.Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 22(2), 114-129.
Book chapter Musselwhite, C.B.A. (2018). Public and Community Transport, in Charles Musselwhite (ed.) Transport, Travel and Later Life (Transport and Sustainability, Volume 10) Bradford, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.117 - 128 Article Musselwhite, C.B.A. (2016). Age friendly rail travel. Generations Review, 26(1), 12-15. Presentations July 2018: Towards a dementia friendly transport system. Ageing Well in Wales. Dementia Supportive Community event, Red House, Merthyr, 9th July.