A woman holds a phone in her left hand in front of her, which displays directions, on the station platform.

Avanti West Coast introduces wayfinding technology for visually impaired customers

Avanti West Coast introduces wayfinding technology to help visually impaired customers navigate stations independently.

  • Avanti West Coast partners with GoodMaps on accessible wayfinding tool
  • Smartphone-based navigation enables customers to find their way around station independently
  • GoodMaps Explore app offers step-by-step guidance to specific location in station

Avanti West Coast has introduced wayfinding technology to help visually impaired customers navigate its stations by using a smartphone app.

Teaming up with software developer, GoodMaps, the intercity operator has made the app available at three of its stations on the West Coast Main Line.

Known as GoodMaps Explore, the navigation tool which is designed to support people to find their way independently by giving a digital map with precise directions to points of interest, can now be used at Crewe, Stoke-on-Trent, and Rugby stations.

Whether it is the ticket office, toilets, taxi rank, platform, or refreshments, customers can select their chosen destination to receive step-by-step guidance.

The fully accessible and free app allows a smartphone to locate and orientate a journey through the station. Users simply hold up their smartphone and image recognition technology identifies their position to give accurate directions from their current location within the station.

GoodMaps Explore offers a range of features for people with disabilities – with options to support screen readers, to selecting step-free routes – providing greater options and flexibility for customers.  

While the technology is designed first and foremost for blind and visually impaired people it can also help those with hearing impairments or anyone who may be anxious about travelling.

Customers can utilise the technology, which provides a static view of the station, to experience the station environment remotely and familiarise themselves with the location of facilities, as well as plan their journey from entrance to destination in advance.

With Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street, London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly, and Milton Keynes Central stations already featuring on the app, the addition of the three Avanti West Coast stations will now enable some customers to choose to make end-to-end journeys independently.

The introduction of this technology is the latest initiative by the train operator to support disabled customers travelling on its network. It follows the launch of Avanti West Coast’s industry-leading ‘Travel Companion’ service – a dedicated communications channel to provide disabled customers with instant help during their journey – in February.

Brandon Peat, Accessibility and Inclusion Manager at Avanti West Coast, said: “We want everyone to feel they can travel independently, so we’re proud to have partnered with GoodMaps to give customers the option to navigate stations by themselves.

“The rollout of GoodMaps Explore will provide a consistent experience for customers at both ends of their journey on the west coast and help to make their whole journey as seamless as possible. This technology also offers opportunities to provide additional help to those who may need extra support during their journey. 

“We hope to expand it to all our stations in the near future – supporting our commitment to enabling independent travel for all.”

Neil Barnfather, Chief Commercial Officer at GoodMaps, said: “Transport is a cornerstone of so much of life; be that in accessing employment, healthcare, social and leisure opportunities and more besides. A fundamental pillar of this lies in being able to access transport systems with ease, confidence and autonomy. GoodMaps is empowering people to do just this and through Avanti West Coast’s commitment the network of locations people can travel to independently has grown yet further.”


Contact Information

Laura Normansell

Avanti West Coast


Notes to editors

About GoodMaps   

GoodMaps provides an industry-leading, innovative, and user-friendly indoor mapping platform that offers greater accuracy and accessibility without the burden of hardware installation. This revolutionary technology deploys universal, inclusive navigation and entrance-to-destination wayfinding quickly so passengers – including those with disabilities – can find their way independently, confidently, and with increased safety. 

Home | Goodmaps

About Avanti West Coast   

Avanti West Coast, operator of intercity rail services on the West Coast Main Line, is a joint venture between FirstGroup and Trenitalia, delivering a cleaner, greener railway that drives the West Coast forward.

We’re on a mission to revolutionise train travel. Our refurbed Pendolinos are returning to the rails, with a £117m investment that’s delivering best in class comfort. Rebuilt using sustainable materials wherever possible, including tables made from recycled plastic bottles, our upgraded fleet offers 25,000 brand new seats, free Wi-Fi, onboard recycling and much more.

New Hitachi trains are set to replace our Voyager trains from 2024, leading to a 61% cut in carbon emissions. Quieter and roomier, with more reliable Wi-Fi, wireless charging for electrical devices and a real-time customer information system, the new 23-strong fleet is the result of a £350m investment in sustainable travel.

We’re tackling climate change wherever we can, from reducing energy and water use to training drivers in eco-driving techniques and sourcing food and drink from local suppliers. Our goal is to be net zero carbon by 2031. We’re on track.

For the latest news, visit the Avanti West Coast Media Centre: https://newsdesk.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/

Press Office: 0845 000 3333