Author Topic: No room on the train for Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson  (Read 379 times)


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No room on the train for Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
« on: December 23, 2017, 02:12:53 PM »
Far more at link:- 1 hour ago

Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has said she was prevented from boarding a train after being told "there's no room for her".

She said in a tweet: "Merry Christmas to the person on the train who just stopped me getting on. Told member of staff 'there's no room for her'."

"Everyone else waiting on the platform got on," added Baroness Grey-Thompson, a wheelchair user with 11 gold medals.

The athlete explained in further tweets that the passenger "wouldn't move".

Baroness Grey-Thompson, 48, said this put the member of train staff in an "awkward position".



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Re: No room on the train for Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2017, 04:54:47 PM »
Just over a week ago my daughter was on a train with a child she was caring for privately. When she qualifies she wants to specialise in paediatric nursing children with complex needs and brain injured children so this is the main focus of the private work she does alongside her current trainig.The child was in a wheelchair that looks like a pushchair, it doesn't fold up and will grow with the child and it cost several thousands of pounds. The parents have an adapted minibus which is large enough for their other children and this wheelchair goes up the rear ramp and locks into place with built in bolts on the minibus floor. Anyway she was on the train with the child in the wheelchair in the wheelchair space and they got to a station where an adult wheelchair user wanted to board. The guard came and asked my daughter to fold up the pushchair and move elsewhere as a wheelchair user needed the space. She said it took more than one explanation for the guard to realise that the wheelchair wasn't a pushchair and couldn't fold up and had built in sections for the equipment the child needs for example oxygen if the cpap alarm triggers etc.

I can imagine that the guard might have got off the train and told the wheelchair user that my daughter had said there was no room in the wheelchair space, which there wasn't as in this one carriage there was only the one space. My local train company has 2 spaces in the carriage marked for wheelchair users, but hers didn't. Given a train is meant to be stationary only 90 seconds, maximum 120 seconds at busier stations the guards explanation might have been limited. Of course the situation might have been entirely different, an able bodied person might have refused to move but there might be another scenario such as my daughter encountered.

My daughter had an adult sized child in the wheelchair space once and she asked the adult sat in the adjacent carers seat once if they were able to move and the adult said they'd stay put (there were vacant seats nearby) so my daughter stood next to the wheelchair for the journey. The child had a grand mal seizure and my daughter administered midazolam and then said to the adult in the adjacent seat that it might be sensible to move as they might get kicked in the face before the seizure ended. The adult moved fairly quickly then. So my daughter has both been challenged for using a wheelchair space for a younger child who's wheelchair looks like a pushchair, she's had able bodied people refuse to move so she can sit and care for the wheelchair user during the journey and she's not been able to board trains as the wheelchair space is already in use.

Basically her local train company needs to be more like mine and provide several spaces on each train, it should be a statutory duty for train companies. It seems the busy London trains are the worst for it.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: No room on the train for Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2017, 10:37:12 AM »
Buses and their users vary a lot in flexibility, too.

Where I live, there are typically two 'buggy bays', one of which has priority as a wheelchair bay.  However, the layout varies.  Sometimes it's a wheelchair bay plus a two flip-seat bay behind, the wheelchair bay varying in layout, maybe three flip seats (one at the back of the wheelchair) sometimes two.  Sometimes the non-wheelchair bay is opposite and three seats.  I like it when people move around a bit to accommodate one another.

Having said that, I got on a bus the other day and I was sitting sideways in the wheelchair flip-seat, with my 4-wheel trolley next to me and a woman with a large buggy and also a child of about 5, so I smiled and said 'hang on, I'll move there to give you more space, and moved to a two-seat space.  She parked her buggy in the big bay with no apparent hostility (i.e. didn't show any sign of preferring the smaller bay), and turned and stood with her back to me.  Her hair was long and loose and she kept flipping it back.  She leant against the rail between us.  It was only a few stops before I got off but I did point out as I got off that if a disabled* person moves to give you space, it's not very nice to keep tossing your hair in their face or to lean back so they can't hold onto the rail for safety.   She looked mildly surprised.    I said 'disabled' simply to make her stop and think, but if she'd looked as I picked up my bag to move, it was marked with a strip of yellow duct tape and black marker pen with a warning that I may fall over - (not those words) - and my trolley is very brightly marked, and I was holding my pass.  Maybe next time it will be someone more fragile but she'll pay more attention.

However, as I type this, whilst I feel I should be justifying describing myself as 'disabled', that was my third bus that day and I'd already fallen over on one of them.   I can and do fall forwards out of sideways-facing seats although less often than I used to.  Even just standing up to move as the bus was about to pull away was risky for me.  But imagine if I didn't want to describe myself as 'disabled' and looked no more disabled than I do (which I don't) but had osteoporosis or some other condition that would make falls not undignified and annoying but significantly dangerous. 

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)