Transport Direct is committed to providing usable and accessible information. We believe that testing the Transport Direct portal with users of various abilities and disabilities is the best way to improve the accessibility of the portal.
Through our ongoing Usability and Accessibility testing programmes we ask testers to perform typical tasks on the portal with the objective of finding out if they experience any difficulties. The findings from these tests are used to make design enhancements to the portal. For example
- We have designed the pages on the site so that as far as possible they do not require horizontal scrollbars when viewed at a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels
- All images have an alternative text description so that they can be understood by users of screen readers
- Our journey itineraries can be presented in tables as well as using a graphical time line
We also welcome feedback, particularly from users with any disabilities, about any specific problems they have encountered in using the Transport Direct portal.
This portal currently conforms to Level AA of the Web Accessibility Guidelines (WAI) produced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and to XHTML standards.
Additional tips for screen reader users
This section outlines some tips that could be useful to people who use the site with screen reading software.
Overview of navigation
There are several ways to navigate to features within the site.
The main navigation consists of five main links located towards the top of the page: ‘Home’; ‘Plan a journey’; ‘Find a place’; ‘Live travel’; and ‘Tips and tools’. Clicking on the ‘Home’ link will open the home page. Clicking on any of the other links will open an overview page containing a set of sub-links, each linking to one of several related functions. For example, clicking on the ‘Plan a journey’ link will open a page containing an overview of Transport Direct's journey planning features and links to each individual journey planner, such as ‘Find a train’ or ‘Find a car route’. Overview pages also contain links to other relevant features. For example, there is a link to ‘Live travel news’ on the ‘Plan a journey’ overview page.
These main links are present on every page (excluding printable pages and the ticket purchase page). They are also repeated in the left hand menu on the homepage and on the overview/menu pages. On the homepage, if you have scripting enabled, clicking on one of these links will reveal further links to all the functions within that category. If you have scripting disabled, all the links will be shown at the same time (including the five main links).
There is a further set of links at the foot of every page, including links to help, contact details and accessibility information.
There are also quick links on the homepage to functions such as ‘Find a train’ or ‘Find a place’.
Throughout the site, there are special links that allow you to skip past sections of the page. This can be useful when pages contain repeated content and links, such as the main navigation links.
Overview of planning a journey
This section outlines the main steps involved with finding a journey.
To find a journey, you will typically need to follow this process:
Step 1: Choose the type of planner you need, such as ‘Find a train’. Alternatively, there is a section on the homepage which acts as the first page of the door-to-door journey planner.
Step 2: In first page of the chosen planner, you will need to enter and/or select the locations you want to travel from and to. You may also need to enter further information, such as the date and time of travel. You must then click ‘Next’.
Step 3: If one or more of the locations are ambiguous, you will be presented with a list of choices. Choose the option which matches your preferred location. This page will also indicate if there are any problems with the journey request, such as inconsistent or missing times and dates. Click "Next" to continue.
Step 4: The system will then search for appropriate journey options. While it is doing this, the "Searching" page will automatically refresh every few seconds.
Step 5: The next page to open will show you a list of journey options - both for outward and return, if you have requested a return journey. These are shown in rows on a table. At the end of each row is a button to select the option. The first option is selected by default. Before the table is a set of action buttons called ‘Details’, ‘Maps’, ‘Tickets/Costs’ and ‘Modify this journey’. These allow you to get further information about whichever journey option you have selected.
If you wish to view details for a journey, such as directions, interchanges and fares, you must first select the journey by clicking the button at the end of its row and then navigate back to the appropriate action button.
Please note that selecting a journey option will refresh the page.
When you have opened the ‘Details’ page of a journey, we would recommend that you click on the ‘Show in table’ link. This displays the details in a text-only format rather than as pictures and text.
There are several variations of journey planner, such as ‘Compare door-to-door journeys’, ‘Find a flight’ and ‘Find a coach’. They all work in a similar way, except for the ‘Day trip planner’, in which you can choose options for each of the three stages of your journey. These are shown in three tables, one for each of the stages of the journey. You should choose an option from each of the three tables by selecting the button that appears before each option. Each journey option shows a list of the types of transport involved for that option. For example a journey that requires you to take a train, then a bus and a walk, might be described as ‘Train and Bus and Walk’.
After these three tables is a drop-down menu list that allows you to choose to get further details about the combination of journey options you have selected. We recommend you select the details as a table, and click ‘OK’.
Ways to improve readability
You may wish to improve the readability of the pages by changing your browser settings.
- increase the browser font size
- switch off images
- change the background and text colours
Accessibility of transport
Travellers who have disabilities or mobility issues will be able to get information about the accessibility of different types of transport when planning journeys. Transport Direct has links on journey planning pages as well as on the journey results pages.
The links below will open other websites to show information on the accessibility of transport:
Maps of railway stations with access for people with reduced mobility
Door-to-door: A travel guide for disabled people
In and around London
*Also, if you need to take a taxi from or to any railway station, airport, bus/coach station, ferry terminal, Underground, Metro or tram station in Britain, you can check the accessibility of taxis or private hire cars serving that station. See: How can I find taxi information for stations I am travelling to in my journey?; Can I find out if the taxis are wheelchair accessible?