We demand the right to Turn-Up-and-Go
Added: 6 April 2017 | Updated: 10 April 2017
Yesterday Transport for All members and supporters descended on London Bridge station to protest Southern Rail’s decision to withdraw Turn up and Go services from at least 33 stations across their network. Disabled passengers right to guaranteed assistance on Southern Rail has quietly disappeared. Disabled passengers now have to book 24 hours in advance if they want to guarantee they will be able to travel.
The musical protest was supported by the Association of British Commuters who joined us in singing for Turn-Up-and-Go services.
We were also joined by performers from Southern Rail the musical who debuted their song ‘imagine there’s no Southern’.
Disabled and older passengers have long campaigned for the right to access rail travel without booking 24 hours in advance. For many this simply isn’t compatible with a normal social and working life.
Hannah Barham Brown, a young doctor says “As a full time doctor my patients need me to be at work on time; I can’t be late simply because I’m waiting for someone to help me onto the train’’
‘’The nature of my work males it impossible for me to know when I’ll finish my day and travel home so booking 24 hours in advance isn’t an option for me; I’m not asking for perfection, I’m just asking for the very basic access that I need to go about my everyday life.’’
“It’s impossible for me to book 24 hours in advance for my travel, and I cannot be 2 hours late for work at a busy hospital while I wait to board a train. ‘’
Southern Rail’s withdrawal of Turn-up-and-Go assistance comes amid the controversial introduction of driver only operations on their network. Without guards to provide assistance there will be no guarantee that Disabled and older people will be able to board or leave the train at unmanned stations.
Faryal Velmi, Director of Transport for All said “It’s shameful Southern rail are allowing disabled passengers to bear the brunt of their failures to deliver a reliable service.”
“We have hear daily from Disabled transport users stranded on freezing platforms, or forced to crawl onto trains when rail companies have failed to assist them”
“This unacceptable backwards step for access simply cannot be allowed to stand, so we’re here today to demand that Southern Rail reverse their decision”
Next action – Save the dateWe would like to thank all the campaigners who joined us on that day. We got a few coverage. This is the first protest of our campaign. On the 28th April we will be organising a co-ordinated action across 8 London stations which have had Access for All step free upgrades halted by the Government.
Affected stations include:
- Battersea Park,
- Hither Green,
- St Mary Cray,
- Seven Sisters,
- Peckham Rye,
- Streatham, ,
- Petts Wood.
The Access for All project has funded much needed step free upgrades at stations from but 50% of the projects planned before 2019 have been delayed by up to 5 years after £50m worth of funding was withdrawn.
It’s so important that we demonstrate how important the Access for All project is to Disabled people across the country, so please join us on the 28th of April to demand that Government reverse this shameful decision. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in taking part in this protest.