It's time to improve travel on trains
Gill, one of our campaigners, explains why train travel needs to improve.
Hi I am Gill. I joined Leonard Cheshire in January 2000 and have since been involved as a representative and Vice Chair of Customer Action Network.
I have campaigned consistently against government cuts by travelling to Westminster and meeting with my MP because, as a fellow wheelchair user, I am passionate about supporting the rights of each and every individual
Lack of space
The biggest problem for me when using trains is the lack of space for people who use wheelchairs.
There are only two spaces in economy and one in first-class. However there’s no direct access from the platform to first class, due to the entrance being too narrow!
There have been several occasions when there have been three of us in wheelchairs where one of us is in the gangway between the other two wheelchairs!
It makes me feel vulnerable
It is surprising how many passengers have to step over and squeeze past the wheelchair in the gangway in order to access seats.
They really have no other choice. I find it makes me feel quite vulnerable.
On quite a few occasions there are pushchairs and large suitcases in the spaces allocated for wheelchairs.
To be fair, they do move when a wheelchair enters the carriage, but then they are in the gangway, because there is nowhere else to put them!
Hit and miss
The assistance is extremely hit and miss, sometimes they’re there and sometimes they’re not! Fortunately the guard is always on hand to help.
If Southwest trains go ahead with their plan to get rid of guards on the trains, how will there be any assistance for emergencies or any other problems, during the journeys for all disabilities and vulnerable passengers, if and when assistance is required!
These people will be extremely nervous without guards on the train.
2018 is time to improve travel on trains
It seems unfair that disabled people are unable to travel spontaneously, without having to book assistance several days in advance, there should be measures in place, disabled people, should be included.
The time has definitely come to improve the access on the trains for disabled people!