"Disabled People Treated Like Packages On Trains

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lankou

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Interesting Article:-

http://www.libdemvoice.org/baroness-sal-brinton-writesdisabled-rail-travel-were-not-just-treated-like-second-class-citizens-were-treated-like-packages-39106.html

Baroness Sal Brinton writes…Disabled rail travel: We’re not just treated like second class citizens, we’re treated like packages
« Last Edit: 13 Apr 2014 06:08PM by SunshineMeadows »

Hurtyback

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Interesting indeed, thanks for posting the link Lankou. I was  >angry<  at this bit


" I was less pleased to hear that the train operating companies are already lining up to ask for exemption from the disability access regulations, which say all rolling stock must be fully accessible by 2020."

So, with 6 years ago, the companies have already decided that they are not even going to try and comply with the regulations >steam<


edited formatting

Sunshine Meadows

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The 2020 deadline sounds bad enough but the fact they cant met it is just ridiculous. If they cant physically change the environment they could at least employ someone at the stations to be a available to help.

It can take a lot of time to build up the amount of confidence that is needed to travel alone on the train and then it can all to easily get smashed because of mismanagement and not having enough staff to help.

Heck I can order anything from a book to a thousand pound computer and get it delivered by tomorrow.

If the railway companies can't provide an adequate service to disabled customers then I reckon everyone with a Blue Disabled Parking Badge should get to travel first class. In the article the Baroness talks about other passengers pushing in and taking her seat would that happen in first class too?

Becca7

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If the railway companies can't provide an adequate service to disabled customers then I reckon everyone with a Blue Disabled Parking Badge should get to travel first class. In the article the Baroness talks about other passengers pushing in and taking her seat would that happen in first class too?

Actually yes. Last year I travelled to see family who live on an exceptionally busy train route, and, armed with my luggage and disabled railcard decided I'd give first class a go. It was actually just as bad, just being shoved around by different people.

There are benefits -first class lounges, free tea/coffee and food (at least at Wolverhampton) and drinks. On train, but I was still treated badly. One person complained first class wasn't for those like me -likely referring to my lack of a suit and laptop and I didn't get my seat. To be fair the conductor told them anyone can purchase a first class ticket, but it wasn't pleasant and I didn't get the seat I booked, they just paid the fine! However, someone else did move and and let me use theirs.

oldtone27

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Heck I can order anything from a book to a thousand pound computer and get it delivered by tomorrow.


Yes, but the companies offering such things are vying with each other for your custom.

The train operators mostly have an effective monopoly within their part of the network so there is no incentive to improve. In fact there is a disincentive as modifying rolling stock or employing more staff costs money. This is the problem with monopolies be they state or corporate.

Sunshine Meadows

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The train operators mostly have an effective monopoly within their part of the network so there is no incentive to improve.

Good point I wish I had thought of it at the time.

Something else I should have thought of is that a lot of people who have Blue Badges also have Motability cars (like I do) and so dont have to use the train.

The Government needs to make up its mind about policy either disabled people are to be enabled to do more and expectations rise all round or they stop telling us we can be equal and do more.

NeuralgicNeurotic

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It can take a lot of time to build up the amount of confidence that is needed to travel alone on the train and then it can all to easily get smashed because of mismanagement and not having enough staff to help.

Exactly, Sunshine! I know with some of the - err - adventures I've had on public transport, the attitudes of the staff were what helped to make a less-than-ideal situation a lot more pleasant and bearable, and left me with a good impression of the service being provided.

I suppose it's about the only advantage that was to be gained from the 30 year long gap in investment in public transport services over here. At least when our completely clapped-out railway rolling stock (much of which was obsolete GB equipment bought for a song) was replaced,  the new trains were reasonably accessible. NIR's whole stock now consists of CAF 3000 and and 4000 trains. The accessible car on the 3000 class trains has one fixed seat, which reduces the amount of manoeuvring room available for scooters and powerchairs, while the class 4000 trains have none.  Each of these carriages has a wheelchair accessible toilet, and the staff have a good attitude. All of the Belfast stations, and most of the stations serving main towns - Bangor and Holywood on the Bangor Line, Larne and Carrickfergus on the Larne line, and Lisburn, Lurgan, Portadown and Newry on the Portadown line, are reasonably accessible - not perfect, but reasonable for scooters and wheelchairs. I've never been on the Derry/Londonderry line, so can't comment, and nor can I comment on what any of the arrangements are like for VI travellers or folk with cognitive or neurological impairment.

 

 


Becca7

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Exactly, Sunshine! I know with some of the - err - adventures I've had on public transport, the attitudes of the staff were what helped to make a less-than-ideal situation a lot more pleasant and bearable, and left me with a good impression of the service being provided

I totally agree that staff can make the difference. There have been times when staff have really helped me and I've been very grateful, though saying Thank you can be difficult as stations can be owned by one company and staff work for another!

I stopped asking for assistance, but then was provided with help in Worcester totally unexpectedly which totally changed my experience. One lift was dead and the other meant going the wrong way and missing my connections, the counter staff said tough, but a guard got me on a train going the wrong way, which involved a ramp, got me a seat and rang both stations I would have to change at to ensure I had assistance and trains were held for me. He totally didn't have to, like I said the guy at the counter was totally dismissive and rude to the guard who was luckily passing at that time. He was very kind. I wrote to say thanks and as I go there twice a year called in and he never got my thank you, he worked for a different train company to the one I wrote to, who apart from thanking me for my letter never wrote back.

The point being first he helped without any booking or even being asked, secondly the thank you got lost but most importantly he did so because of the difficulties disabled people face travelling and recognising that need.

If only all staff could be so helpful. What took him minutes saved me, literally, hours of waiting for missed connections.

Mabelcat

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I had my first lesson in disability discrimination awareness on a train about thirty years ago.  I was travelling with my bicycle and when I went to put it in the guard's van was surprised to see a woman in a wheelchair being installed in there.  That was the standard way for wheelchair users to travel by train then with no access to the loo or any other facilities and the only company and help available via occasional visits from the guard.

The current situation is far from good but at least things have moved on a bit.

Sunshine Meadows

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 >thumbsup<

I love hearing about people getting help from a 'fellow human being'.

I dont have much experience of transport issues because having Menieres Disease can make going anywhere stressful and physically difficult. I think there are a lot of people like me who for one reason or another settle for a smaller life because that was more doable than pushing for change.

Anyone that braves going on public transport is a  >star< because what you are doing should eventually bring change and let people like me have a better life (if we decide to).

devine63

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my limited experiences of the train support people have been mostly good, though once in a while it all falls apart because the booking doesn't go through to the right people.  Generally companies with new trains are better, but if they are still using old ones then usually they are inaccessible,
regards, Deb

NeuralgicNeurotic

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I dont have much experience of transport issues because having Menieres Disease can make going anywhere stressful and physically difficult. I think there are a lot of people like me who for one reason or another settle for a smaller life because that was more doable than pushing for change.

 >bighugs<

The nice thing about NIR trains is that, provided you're travelling at a quiet time of the day, you tend to have the carriage to yourself, which makes life a lot easier. Panic attacks seem to be inevitable in crowded, noisy environments, and they're a bit easier to manage when you're not feeling embarrassed about possibly vomiting or losing control of your bladder in front of a crowd of strangers! Also, if you can't stem the flow of tears, you can hide in the toilet until feeling more in control.  >thumbsup<

Sunshine Meadows

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Also, if you can't stem the flow of tears, you can hide in the toilet until feeling more in control.  >thumbsup<

 >bighugs< I used to do that at work. The call centre was like a chicken shed of noise.

Dic Penderyn

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Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

seegee

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Deb, thirty years ago I remember travelling in the guards' van as a (temporary) wheelchair user - now there is no guards' van on the trains.  There are lifts at most of the stations now, ramps on all trains & one space (for one wheelchair user) on most trains (longer ones have 2) - the local commuter trains still don't have anything like accessible toilets & journeys may take an hour or so if travelling 20 miles or more due to how many stations along the route. 
It certainly wouldn't be possible for a wheelchair-user to board many of the peak-time trains as they are just too full of standing passengers.