Transport for All speaks out about the barriers faced by disabled rail passengers
Our Campaigns Lead, Katie Pennick, has expressed her frustration after being left stranded on trains and platforms due to a failure from rail staff to provide ramps.
Katie has been left stuck on empty trains because staff did not meet her with a ramp, and following an interview about inaccessible travel, was refused access to a train due to “health and safety”.
She has also spoken out against Great Western Railway’s chaperone scheme, an “infantilising” scheme which would see disabled people relying on others to access rail services.
Disabled people must be able to make journeys which are accessible and independent. We believe access to public transport is a basic and fundamental requirement for an equal society, and we’re here to fight for that.
Speaking to ITV News Meridian, Katie said: “I have very low confidence travelling and that’s a lot to do with the fact that I’m not met at stations. What it comes down to is my ability to travel freely and with independence.
“The fact that I would need to have a chaperone with me I think would feel quite infantilising.
“In an ideal world, we would have level boarding. We would have step-free access and I, as a wheelchair user, would be able to access the train without needing to rely on anyone else to assist me.”