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Disabled people are raising money to take transport discrimination cases to court

Added: 29 August 2018 | Updated: 29 August 2018

Our partner Inclusion London is raising money to set up a fund to pay for legal advice in disability discrimination cases on public transport (especially Railway and air travel). Transport for All (TfA) is supporting their initiative.

This #TransportJustice campaign has been launched by a group of Paralympians, Disabled activists and lawyers.

All too often our Advice Line hears from Disabled people about the barriers they face using trains or air travel and we have been disappointed to see the Railway become one mode of transport going backwards in terms of accessibility in recent years. This is why we welcome and support the #TransportJustice campaign, so Disabled people get a chance to challenge transport providers using the law.

TfA Chair, Alan Benson says:

“Trains and planes are so important to enabling everyone to travel for both leisure and business yet every single day Disabled and Older People face an uphill struggle to make journeys that everyone else takes for granted. Like many, many others I’ve been delayed, stranded on trains and aircraft and had my wheelchair damaged. These are not minor inconveniences, but have major impacts on people’s lives.“The onus for challenging this appalling situation falls on the victim, but to do so alone is daunting and carries financial risk. This campaign is vital to redress this imbalance, to send a strong message to the transport providers that it’s just not good enough. It is incumbent on them to make every journey for every Disabled and Older Person run smoothly and this campaign will send the message that they will be held to account until they do this.”

This campaign will focus on cases which have the potential to change policy and practice. We will use the law strategically as part of a wider campaign and joint work with all Disabled people and their organisations to improve Disabled people’s experiences when using public transport.

TfA member, Anne Wafula Strike, who was recently left on a plane for 45 minutes says:

“I am supporting this initiative because I want to help more disabled people with different impairments and experiences to stand up for what is right, because we all should be treated like human beings. I know from my own experience how difficult it can be to take a rail company to court. Some time ago I had a particularly humiliating incident and I decided to take legal action. I am now more determined to ensure other Disabled people don’t suffer in silence. My case got a lot of publicity and was settled. I did not have to make difficult decisions about going to court and having to face financial risks, but I know most people will not be in my position. My legal case helped to get commitment from a rail company to train their staff and change their practice. My voice advocated for change.”

In many cases the transport companies are in breach of the Equality Act 2010, but disabled people are rarely able to challenge the discrimination they experience by public transport providers.

Here is how you can support the campaign: