Transport For London

5th April 2023 by Scarlett James

A group of 5 people, two in wheelchairs and the rest standing, in kings cross station filming a video. The team are all wearing masks and smiling at the camera.

Who is Transport for London?

“A world class tube for a world class city”

Created in 2000, Transport for London (TfL) is the body responsible for the Capital’s transport system. 

TfL covers almost all transport modes in London; the Underground, London’s buses, London Overground, London river services, Santander Cycle hire, electronic vehicles and policing as well as all of London’s 4,600 traffic lights.

Why Partner with D&A?

TfL wanted to help and inspire their staff to improve the customer experience on the London and UK transport networks. 

They aimed to make the foundation of this process “nothing about us without us”, placing the utmost importance on user engagement and consultation.

D&A’s background of lived experience and expertise stood out to TfL as a way of ensuring each training session fostered true engagement and learning.

Venetia Petter, Customer Insight, Strategy & Experience at TfL, describes the impact of the training: 

“Trainers show willingness and enthusiasm in sharing their lived experiences for the benefit of others, they have an open and honest approach within the training environment, their eagerness to engage and share their own live experiences is what is valued the most by staff.”

What’s happening?

‘TfL has delivered a highly successful in-person DET [Disability Equality Training] course across the organisation since 2017,” Venetia says. “In November 2021, in partnership with D&A, TfL launched a new virtual classroom training course to provide both our frontline and our Professional Services staff with the skills and knowledge they need to better support our disabled colleagues and customers.”.

The training covers the following;

  • What we mean by disablement, including hidden disabilities and neurodiversity. 
  • What reasonable adjustments are and how they fit into the Equality Act 2010.
  • Confidence in the language and etiquette of disability, how to interact with disabled passengers.
  • The Social Model of Disability and how it can be used to remove barriers to using the London and UK transport networks.
  • Exploring specific accessibility policies, initiatives, tools that would improve the experience of disabled people travelling.
  • Engagement with and consulting disabled people.
  • To help and inspire staff to improve the customer experience.

We made sure TfL staff had the opportunity to engage with, refine and continue their learning by creating bespoke pre- and post-session resource packs. 

To highlight the amazing work TfL has accomplished with D&A, Venetia Petter joined us at our inaugural Conference in December 2022.  Buy a virtual ticket to catch up on her insight into Disability Inclusion at TfL, as well as all panels and talks from both days of our Conference. Otherwise, watch this space for future events!

In the foreground a white screen with text reads; TfL and D&A What makes our partnership work We're passionate, open and knowledgeable. We have strong work ethics, stamina and experience. We embrace change and are dedicated to growth and continuous improvement. In the background, unfocused, is Venetia Petter, presenting to a conference.

What’s Next?

We’ve gathered a team of 13 access guides with a diverse range of lived experiences of using London’s transport system. They’re hosting tours and training for TfL staff members, highlighting the barriers they face when travelling with TfL, exploring the tools and practices that help them have a better journey, and sharing how staff can better support them in dismantling or minimising access barriers.

After each trip, staff engage in classroom sessions on disability equality, finishing by taking  a disability equality pledge to take away and implement.

“DET delivery continues to receive high levels of positive feedback with training courses being fully booked and in high demand.  I look forward to continuing our journey with D&A and thank them for their continued support and effort to deliver this training to our people.” Venetia Petter adds regarding the past and upcoming training D&A are delivering. 

What are the benefits of D&A’s approach?

“D&A played an integral part in the adaptation and design of the new virtual course, their knowledge and experience within this field was paramount in delivering the best content and experience to our staff” says Venetia. 

“The course was excellent in delivery and excellent in content. Delivering a course such as DET over Zoom has its challenges however for me these were completely overcome and the session was engaging, enlightening, fun and educational.

This is exactly what we need to engage our front line teams to help them understand the social and physical barriers faced by our customers; so many points referenced that some staff have probably never considered. Excellent and well done!!”

London Underground Area Manager feedback Nov’21

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