Merseyrail has been named as the best train operator in the UK for families travelling with young children according to new research by the Campaign for Family-Friendly Trains.
The research heralded the progress of the rail company, claiming they demonstrate “the potential for all train operating companies”.
The lobby group assessed factors such as the availability of dedicated space for unfolded pushchairs, step-free access, baby changing facilities and information for families.
Merseyrail was praised for introducing new trains, purchased and owned by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, designed to accommodate unfolded pushchairs throughout using wide aisles, single seats with space for a pushchair next to them, and dedicated pushchair bays.
The operator was also commended for its plan to have step-free boarding between trains and all platforms via a sliding step once the rollout of the new fleet is completed.
The Campaign for Family-Friendly Trains said: “Merseyrail, a commuter network, and LNER, a long-distance operator, have both taken significant steps towards introducing family-friendly facilities and services.”
Neil Grabham, Managing Director of Merseyrail, said: “We are dedicated to ensuring all customers are able to travel with us as safely and comfortably as possible.
“I’m proud that the hard work that is currently being undertaken in introducing the groundbreaking new trains has been reflected in this research.
“It also complements other improvements being made across our network as lifts are introduced at more and more stations. We are delighted that this progress is having such a positive impact for customers and that their travel experiences are being improved, especially for those travelling with children.
“Not only is our infrastructure designed with families in mind, but we also have a family ticket which offers daily, unlimited, off-peak travel for up to two adults and three children for just £13.
“And ideas for great family days out on our network can be found at the Destination Merseyside pages at merseyrail.org. So, there is great opportunities for all families to get on the train and enjoy the fabulous events and places throughout the Liverpool City Region.
“Merseyrail will be striving to ensure that we remain an industry leader and a welcoming place for families.”
Alice Delemare-Tangpuori, a spokeswoman for Campaign for Family-Friendly Trains, said: “It is encouraging to see companies like Merseyrail and LNER travelling in the right direction.
“Their scores show some train operators take the issue of family-friendly travel seriously.”