Since Tanylee Davis gave her account about an upsetting train journey on social media, there have been a flood of news reports on the inaccessibility of rail travel.
A guard insisted that Tanylee move her mobility scooter when a mother with a pushchair then boarded the train. He then proceeded to inform all passengers via the tannoy that the train was delayed due to the woman with a mobility scooter refusing to move.
Ms Davis, a comedian reported that the confrontation left her feeling humiliated and tearful for the rest of the journey.
GWR later admitted that they’d made an error and that a wheelchair space is for wheelchairs not for luggage or pushchairs. However Sara Harvey experienced similar problems: https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/train-company-faces-calls-to-rip-up-scooter-policy-after-latest-shameful-episode/
Speaking about the incident Tanylee has said she just wanted to highlight problems she had been encountering for the last 15 years. A statement that many of us would whole-heartedly agree with!
There’s many reasons why train travel can be stressful for Disabled people including inaccessible booking, toilets, platforms, lack of ramps, inconsistent support to get on and off trains and at stations.
I relayed a tale where I booked assistance for a journey which worked well at the outgoing station, was absent at a connecting station whilst the final station was unmanned. Many DEF members nodded in agreement and obviously had their own horror stories to tell. Such inconsistencies mean people can be stranded at stations or miss vital connections.
Leonard Cheshire research says 1 in 3 Disabled people face rail misery and have called for the government to improve accessibility on train journeys and is encouraging the public to sign their petition: https://www.leonardcheshire.org/about-us/latest-news/press-releases/one-three-disabled-people-face-rail-misery
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is calling for legal action against the government over its failure to ensure an accessible rail service.
Transport For All (TfA) campaigns for affordable, reliable and accessible transport as a right: http://www.transportforall.org.uk/
In Bristol problems can be reported to the Public Transport Group, if you email me I can inform the group.
Tanyalee is a fiesty performer, catch her if you can! https:/tanyaleedavis.com