Train journeys still a risky business!
Has anyone had experiences around the wheelchair space being used for luggage. I experienced this many years ago, and foolishly I thought things may have improved.
I don't think it's safe for disabled people to use public transport alone but that's not how it should be and as we know, many people just don't get enough assistance to have someone travel with them.
We have recently used a Virgin train service and had to wait 15 mins for the ramps to be supplied before getting off the train. I don't know how lone travellers would manage.
I have moved luggage to gain access to our reserved seating. I have never had to ask anyone to move thankfully, although I did see a couple with a pram using the 'disabled' space in one carriage so not sure if the train staff would have asked them to move if we needed the area.
I have never attempted to use the toilet with my daughter as luckily we have only done short journeys by train. But on a positive note we have often had the disabled toilet opened for us by staff at Euston instead of trying to find our radar key! Swings and roundabouts :-)
I travel all the time on my own. Yes, sometimes ramps can be slow in arriving but most of the time they do arrive and if you avoid the last train they have to let you off before they can go again! It can be scary but I’ve never been scared on an English train. I would say have a twitter account, carry a mobile phone. I am just grateful that we can use public transport having lived in places where there were none. Campaign for better transport...don’t give up!
Years ago I had to be carried in my power-chair down whole flights of stairs, at Clapham Junction as there were no lifts; I remember a teenage schoolgirl stayed with me, as I was on my own. Those were my days of being young and reckless!
Clapham Junction never had the right access! And I don’t think anybody will/should carry power chairs these days, health and safety and all that-not even one step into the pub!
I wonder if young disabled people would be that reckless these days. Or does health and safety prevent such behaviour.
At least Clapham has lifts these days though!
Since moving, the train companies seem a lot more responsive to helping. For short local journeys into Liverpool staff have been available at both ends of the journey with a ramp.
The long journey south on Virgin is yet to be tackled. I've done it on my own, but not with my daughter. Think I would look at travelling at the quiet times.
At least the majority of stations in London are accessible too, that's a marked improvement from where I used to live.
Virgin staff will now - thanks to Purdley ruling - whilst his case involves a wheelchair space on a bus, the same principle applies if you need a wheelchair space on a train.
This week we have been to visit friends and travelled on London Overground and I must say it was a very positive experience. At every station there was a member of staff waiting to assist us with a ramp to board and get off the train. We were shown and directed to lifts. It certainly made our day out a positive, stress free one. As you know accessible travelling can make or break a day out.
I’ve found London Overground to be very good....