The 28th PASSAGE (Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe), Working Group meeting took place from 22 – 23 May in London, kindly hosted by EUROSTAR.
THe meeting was chaired by Mr Hans Christian Kirketerp-Møller (DSB), president of the group. UIC was represented by Mr Marc Guigon, Director of the Passenger Department, Ms Vanessa Pérez, and Clément Gautier, Advisors for the Passenger Department. Representatives from SBB, ÖBB, RFI, TRENITALIA, TRAFIKVERKET, EUROSTAR, SNCF, NMBS/SNCB, ĈD, PKP, DSB and MÁV START, ZSSK attended the meeting.
During the first day, the meeting was hosted at the Eurostar headquarters. As is usual during these meetings, the participants gave an updated view on the situation of PRMs in their countries and the new developments of accessibility policies in their companies, which led to debates about the different situations that were explained by attendees.
Next, the group discussed the future legal framework for PRM with special participation by a representative of CER.
Among other issues during this year, the group’s work will focus on digitalisation with a benchmarking of best practices and the analysis of the state-of-the-art on Digital Accessibility.
On this occasion, the participants had the opportunity to discuss the project to improve the IRS dedicated to Station Pictograms from the PRM point of view and invisible and mental disabilities.
On the second day, David Sarfatti (AVANCIAL) presented the latest statistics in the use of the UIC Booking Assistance Tool, the current situation, the new interface and a future potential project regarding non-reserved assistance.
This meeting was the last one for Mr Hans Christian Kirketerp-Møller, from DSB, who after two and a half years of being chairman of the group, will leave to enjoy his retirement. During his leaving discourse he encouraged the members to continue exchanging with this group which has had and will have a big repercussion on the daily customer service experience for every company. He also extended his best wishes to Ms Paola Negri, from Trenitalia, who has been appointed new chair of the Passage Group.
Finally, the participants went on a technical visit to St Pancras Station. During the visit the participants examined the different elements regarding PRM accessibility and service at the station where passport checking is required and is part of the challenge of the customer service experience of the company.
The next meeting will take place in Budapest on 16 and 17 October 2018.