Bedfordshire SLC test Luton Rising Passenger Assist service

Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council (SLC) visited Luton Rising to test their end-to-end end passenger assist service.  Luton Rising is currently undergoing accessibility trials of the DART ahead of their launch.

Passenger assistance for rail travel is a national database which allows people to book support from station staff according to their individual accessibility needs. These support needs will be communicated to DART staff, who will continue to offer assistance from the gate line at DART central station

This trial follows our work with them last year, where Bedfordshire SLC provided important feedback on the installation of tactile wayfinding routes, help points, toilets, and audio-visual announcements on the Luton DART.


Image shows Samantha Leftwich, Bedfordshire Engagement Manager, being assisted by GTR staff at Luton Parkway. Sam is being guided by the arm and the assistant is pulling a large suitcase. Sam is holding guide dog lizzie’s lead. They are walking along the platform, next to a train. Their backs are to the camera.

Samantha Leftwich, Engagement Manager for Bedfordshire, using the Luton Rising passenger assist service


David Randall, Senior Operations Management Consultant, Arup, for Luton Rising, said:

“The Luton DART trials are a series of operational exercises that we are running ahead of our launch.  They are designed to test all aspects of our services under real-time conditions.

“The Accessibility trial is one of 30 trials, which include medical emergencies, shuttle evacuations, and security incidents. This is to provide assurance that the systems are ready and that our staff are confident to handle any scenario they might face.”


Samantha Leftwich, Engagement Manager for Bedfordshire SLC, added:

“It was great to be invited back to Luton Dart yesterday to offer further feedback on their services. It was a great opportunity to help them fine-tune the support in place for blind and partially sighted passengers. We highlighted best practices in sighted guiding and clear communication. We look forward to working with DART and Arup to deliver VI Awareness training in the coming months. This will help ensure that all staff are confident in supporting blind and partially sighted people.”


Read more about our previous work with Luton Rising


Join Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council

If you are blind and partially sighted, live in Bedfordshire and are interested in advocating for visually impaired people, we’d love to hear from you.

Find out more about volunteering for Sight Loss Councils in our Volunteer Role Description – Volunteer Role Description Sight Loss Council Member (DOCX, 60 KB)

If you would like to apply to become a Sight Loss Council member, apply online here.

Volunteer Role Description Sight Loss Council Member (DOCX, 60 KB)

Training and development 

It’s really important to us that you get as much as possible out of volunteering. You’ll receive relevant training and the opportunity to learn and/or enhance your skills. Whether you’re interested in public speaking or honing your social media skills, there’s something for everyone to get involved in. 

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Publication date: 01 February 2023

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