31 August 2016
Trains don’t have the best reputation amongst public transport users, but for disabled users it can be a nightmarish ordeal. Penny Pepper recently documented her train journey, for the Guardian, in which she encountered a number of difficulties and delays. Being a wheelchair user makes the boarding of the train understandably more difficult however what was not understandable was the attitude of the ‘Southern rail’ staff, who were often rude and unsympathetic to her.
“Then a concerned station employee became flustered at the idea of unlocking the station ramps, which most big stations have these days. When the train arrived, concerned station employee and an icy conductor somehow between them managed the incredibly complex task of unfolding the ramp.”
Peppers story documents the failing of staff any proper planning on behalf of ‘Southern rail’ for a lack of proper implementation of wheelchair user access. Her return journey was supposed to take just over an hour, but due to having to catch to transfer train the trip took closer to three hours.
“At Lewes the conductor couldn’t wait to see the back of me. An older woman appeared carrying the ramp, grumpy that I’d been “sent to her”. I said nothing. I wanted to get back to Hastings, which clearly wasn’t going to be before 9pm.”
It’s clear from Ms. Pepper that what should have a simple journey turned into a prolonged and unnecessary ordeal. To read the full article visit:
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