Heathrow Express launches accessibility charter as part of new London Titans partnership

Thu 27 Apr 2023

Thursday 27th April 2023 - Heathrow Express has partnered with one of the country’s leading wheelchair basketball teams, London Titans, and launched a new ‘Heathrow Express charter’ to highlight the accessibility of its service.

The charter was created by Heathrow Express to support the team's travel to this year's EuroCup tournament, with the Titans travelling to the Finals in Turkey this week, and ensure a suitable experience on its trains for everyone by making accessibility for all a priority.

The charter's goals are to continuously improve the quality of its accessible travel offering, deliver the commitments within its Accessible Travel Policy, and to cater for its passengers' wide ranging needs so that everyone can use the service confidently.

As the only rail airport transfer service with completely step-free access, it includes maintaining this so that passengers with wheelchairs and mobility aids can travel from train to plane and back again with ease.

Heathrow Express has also partnered with mobility charities and organisations to understand the needs of every passenger and to ensure its staff receive regular training that enables them to deliver a service that is accessible to all.

London Titans' coach Matt Sealy has praised the difference Heathrow Express’s support has made to himself and his players, which include Paralympic icon and BBC personality Ade Adepitan.

Speaking from the Eurocup tournament in Bosnia last month, he said: "Heathrow and Heathrow Express have helped our club enormously. I wouldn't be sitting here in Bosnia without both of those companies' support. EuroCup is very important for some of these players in being seen, especially young players, who are aspiring to be future GB players. They play at this level, and they get seen by international coaches. It makes a big difference to their careers.

"I have been travelling internationally as a wheelchair user since the age of 3. I am now approaching 41, and to say accessibility in the travel industry has improved during this time is a huge understatement! I've noticed so many changes in this time with a huge focus on attention to individual needs, for not just wheelchair users but vast other disabilities. 

"The most important need for myself has been the understanding of organisations, such as Heathrow Airport and Heathrow Express, to see my wheelchair as a part of me, and not a piece of luggage. It is the only time my wheelchair leaves my body so I have to have complete confidence that it is being handled and looked after with utmost care and attention. 

"Thankfully I get this reassurance from the moment of booking my travel, through to greeting staff at airport check in desks or train terminal platforms. When these staff talk to me with confident action plans of every process through the airport of where my chair goes once I board a plane and where it will be going and waiting for me at my destination, this vastly improves my confidence to travel independently.

Daniel Edwards, Business Lead, at Heathrow Express added: “We are delighted to be partnering with The London Titans in our 25th anniversary year and launching our new Heathrow Express charter. We already carry around 25,000 travellers a day between Paddington Station and Heathrow Airport and want to set and maintain new standards to encourage more travellers to this service.

"This means making sure everyone can look forward to a great experience, with peace of mind knowing that the facilities are globally recognised as compliant for all and that they will receive a warm human welcome at every stage.

There are highly trained colleagues onboard up and down the route to be on hand for any requests and we also pride ourselves in offering customers the spaces and features they need, like lots of luggage space, dedicated wheelchair areas, accessible toilets, and passenger information onboard."

The Heathrow Express charter: top five goals for 2023:
  • To ensure a travel experience on our trains that is suitable for everyone by making accessibility for all our priority.
  • To ensure we work with our rail and airport partners to maintain a completely step-free service from train to plane and back again so passengers with wheelchairs and mobility aids can travel with ease.
  • To continue to improve the quality of our accessible travel offering and continuously and consistently deliver the commitments made in our Accessible Travel Policy.
  • To partner with mobility charities and organisations to understand the specific needs of every passenger who travels with us and ensuring our staff receive regular training to enable them to deliver a service that is accessible to all. 
  • To assist and enable everyone to be able to use our service confidently by considering the wide range of different needs of all our passengers.

    - ENDS - 

Media Contacts
Mark Thomson: +44 7731 451350 / mark.thomson@thepr.network
June Field: +44 7751 082168 / june.field@heathrow.com

About Heathrow Express
Heathrow Express, celebrating 25 years old this year, is a premium non-stop train service between London Paddington to Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 with an extra six minutes to Terminal 5 and a free transfer available to Terminal 4. With its electric trains taking 15 minutes, it provides the fastest, most reliable and sustainable way to travel to and from Britain’s hub airport. As a dedicated airport service, it also offers passengers a calm and comfortable way to travel with its spacious cabins designed to provide extra capacity for Luggage.

Twitter: @heathrowexpress                         
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeathrowExpress

About London Titans
London Titans Wheelchair Basketball Club has been running for over thirty years, during this period the club has grown to be one of the largest in the UK with over 70 members across 8 teams. Across 3 London venues, in the boroughs of Waltham Forest, Ealing and Harrow. Our Premier team are the current National League Champion 2021/22 and have finished at the top of the league table again this season ready to defend the title. Whilst our under 18 junior team have recently came third and our Women’s League Division 1 team topped the table.

Sport or at least access to sport is something most of us take for granted, for disabled people it is not nearly so accessible, but at London Titans, we believe in the power of sport and its ability to transform lives, we call this #TitanPride. Encouraging people to become more consistently active, we have and can continue to help them establish a stronger personal connection to sport and physical activity. Providing an environment where people socialise, gain confidence and all the health benefits you would expect from this fast-paced and physically demanding sport. Our pride impacts every aspect of our team’s lives, their family and friends. If you are interested in volunteering your time, trying a new sport and get involved, get in touch.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TitansWBC
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TitansWBC