DLR customers will be able to pre-book assistance in a new trial to improve accessibility.

Transport for London (TfL) and KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD) have introduced a six-month Access DLR trial for passengers who might otherwise encounter barriers when travelling.

The trial allows customers to pre-book an available timeslot for travel support at least two hours before their journey.

This service will be available seven days a week from 7am to 7pm, with short-notice requests accepted subject to staff availability.

Customers with confirmed bookings will be met at the start of their DLR journey by clearly identifiable Access DLR staff.

These trained personnel will accompany passengers throughout the journey to provide the required support.

Feedback will be collected throughout the trial to determine the service's efficiency, hours of operation, and potential demand beyond the trial period.

Access DLR is available to anyone aged 18 and over needing travel assistance.

This covers a range of needs, including mobility, visual impairment, and mental health challenges.

Users won't need any proof of disability to use the service.

This trial is the latest in a series of improvements for DLR services.

New trains are set to be rolled out by the end of 2024 as a part of this programme.

The introduction of 54 new trains, which replace ones more than 30 years old, aim to improve service reliability and frequency.

These trains will also offer better facilities for those with mobility impairments and accessibility needs.

The trains feature spacious and easy access to walk-through carriages, three multi-use spaces, and three dedicated wheelchair spaces.

News Shopper: Passengers will be met by a dedicated Access DLR staff member who stays with them throughout their journeyPassengers will be met by a dedicated Access DLR staff member who stays with them throughout their journey (Image: TfL)

Additionally, they offer improved real-time travel information.

Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: "Creating an inclusive transport network is an essential part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.

"With the Access DLR trial, we're striving to make every journey as seamless and accessible as possible for all passengers.

"By gathering feedback and delivering improvements, we're building a fairer, more inclusive London for everyone."

Trish Ashton, TfL’s Director of Rail and Sponsored services, said that making London more accessible is a "priority" for TfL.

Trish Ashton said: "DLR stations have been step-free since it was introduced, but we know that only addresses one element of accessibility.

"Access DLR, along with the new DLR trains, will make the DLR network more widely accessible to the growing community around east and southeast London."

READ MORE: TfL invites public feedback on DLR extension to Thamesmead

Richard Graham, Managing Director at KeolisAmey Docklands, said: "KeolisAmey Docklands is excited to be delivering the Access DLR trial, in collaboration with TfL and its Independent Disability Advisory Group.

"We are committed to continuously improving the accessibility of the DLR and supporting TfL’s wider Equity in Motion plan"

Liam O’Carroll, from London Sight Loss Councils, said the group "welcomes" this new trial.

He said: "The ability to pre-book assistance on DLR journeys should really enhance blind, partially sighted and disabled passengers’ travel experience on the network and remove much of the anxiety associated with navigating DLR stations.

"We also welcome that the service can be booked by phone which is hugely important for those who find booking online a barrier."

TfL recently launched the Equity in Motion plan, designed to make London's transport fairer, more accessible, and inclusive.

This strategic action plan includes more than 80 proposed measures, such as increasing the proportion of step-free Tube stations from a third to half, and creating dedicated spaces for wheelchair users and buggies.