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Pilot scheme for dementia-friendly signage at Buxton station unveiled by Northern

Buxton Railway Station. Photo credit: Northern.

Train operator Northern has unveiled the first ‘dementia-friendly’ signage at one of its stations in Derbyshire.

Northern has worked with the Friends of Buxton Station and local dementia support groups on the pilot scheme, which is designed to make signs much easier for someone with dementia to understand.

This includes fewer signs to avoid ‘information overload’, strategic placement of signs at important ‘decision points’ and wider use of symbols to reinforce the wording chosen.

The pilot follows an approach by the Friends of Buxton Station chairman, Dave Carlisle, to Northern for funding from the operator’s Accessibility Fund.

Mr Carlisle, who has personal experience of Alzheimer’s in his family, says he was compelled to act having seen so many rail users struggle to understand some of the signs and instructions at railway stations.

The Friends of Buxton Station were recently awarded second place at the 2022 Community Rail Awards in the category of ‘Influencing Positive Change and Sustainability’ for their work with Northern on the dementia-friendly signage. You can read more about their involvement in the project in our Winners Booklet.

Buxton Railway Station. Photo credit: Northern.

Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern, said: “We’re really pleased to get this pilot scheme off the ground – which has already been recognised by the Community Rail Network for influencing positive change.

“Small alterations can make a huge difference to someone living with dementia and the feedback from rail users at Buxton Station will help inform future station improvements across the network.

“I’d like to thank the Friends of Buxton Station for championing this issue and working so closely with us on this pilot scheme.”

Northern and the Friends of Buxton Station are now encouraging feedback from local dementia support groups and individuals on the deployment of the scheme.