Manchester Piccadilly is one of four railway stations that will now offer passengers with hidden disabilities a discreet way to ask for extra help while making their journeys.
Launched yesterday on the the international day of persons with disabilities, sunflower branded lanyards and ticket holders can now be picked up at Manchester Piccadilly, London Euston, Liverpool Lime Street and Birmingham New Street stations.
The lanyard and ticket holders, which are entirely voluntary for anyone who would benefit from them, act as a subtle sign for staff that additional support or help may be required.
Network Rail employees at all four stations have been specially trained to understand what the sunflower stands for and how they can offer the right help to those passengers who need it.
Karen Hornby, head of performance and customer relationship for Network Rail, said:“Travelling by rail for passengers with additional needs can be a daunting experience and we’re always looking at ways our staff can make it easier for people. The sunflower symbol is the perfect way for passengers to discreetly identify themselves to our staff so we can do everything we can to make their journeys as smooth as possible.”
Sunflower lanyards were first trialled at Gatwick Airport in 2016 and have since been successfully adopted at other major airports, in some supermarkets and by train operator, LNER.
The initiative is supported by RNIB and other charities including Alzheimer’s Society, The National Autistic Society and Action on Hearing Loss.