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Refused help with pram by tube station staff... Surely that is not right?!

(114 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Fri 19-Jul-13 19:33:01

I was travelling home today on the tube, a route I don't normally take due to the hassle but my car is in the garage. I had one-year-old ds with me in his pram. I needed to get up a flight of steps to the platform and I can't lift him and the pram, they're just too heavy together. I usually avoid having to be in this situation as its a hassle and its nobody else's responsibility to help me I suppose, but today I had no choice.

So I knocked on the door of the station office which I could see had a few men in high vis jackets (so presumably tube workers) milling around. The door was answered by a woman who flatly refused to help me up the steps. A first she just said 'I can't help you'. I thought fair enough, maybe she has a bad back or something, but when I asked in a friendly way if there was a strong man who might help me, looking towards all the guys at the back, she disappeared for a second then just came back, said no, looked very disapproving and shut the door on me! I thought this was really rude but was too shocked to do anything.

I know she probably has more important things to do but what world are we living in where tube staff can't take 2 mins out of their day to help a mum up some stairs?? The reason I was out was to do volunteer work in the local community,who says karma exists eh. :-(

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Fri 19-Jul-13 19:35:20

Wow, that really surprises me. I've used the tube lots of times with a pushchair in tow and never, ever had a reaction like that from staff or other passengers. I would write or tweet to TFL and ask them to clarify their policy on assisting passengers in that sort of situation.

Floppityflop Fri 19-Jul-13 19:35:33

They are probably not trained in manual handling or the thing was over the safe limit to lift.

CrapBag Fri 19-Jul-13 19:36:08

You should have pointedly asked if she could direct you towards the lift.

I would complain actually. There was no reason whatsoever to be so rude. I hate rudeness. If there is a genuine reason then she could have politely explained it to you.

MaMaPo Fri 19-Jul-13 19:37:51

TBH I wouldn't expect tube staff to help in that situation. So many people use the tube with prams that if they began helping I could see them spending all day shifting prams, instead of their actual duties.

Sorry you got stuck in a tricky spot though. Did another passenger step up? I lugged my pram and baby up and down plenty of tube stairs today...

Nevercan Fri 19-Jul-13 19:38:06

I normally stop at the bottom of the steps and start attempting to lift in. Then usually a kind person will give me a hand. I would have thought the staff might have been a bit more helpful

maja00 Fri 19-Jul-13 19:39:23

They shouldn't have been rude, but I also don't think they had an obligation to carry your pram.

Why couldn't you just have bumped it up the steps?

Next time maybe take a light stroller or a sling for public transport. I don't think it's sensible to take a pram that you can't manoeuvre yourself.

Lj8893 Fri 19-Jul-13 19:39:30

Not the same thing but in work in a shop and we arnt insured to help customers with prams or heavy items up and down stairs, even if the heavy item is something they have bought in store. However, we do sometimes use out discretion and will help someone carefully if it was clear they really needed the help.
When we can help though we do explain why, ie not insured and that's all they needed to do if that was the case in your situation.

thefuturesnotourstosee Fri 19-Jul-13 19:40:09

yanbu the rudeness alone is enough to be seething. They may have had a genuine reason but they should have explained it to you (eg if we drop your baby we're not covered for liability so very sorry we can't take the risk).

Thankfully IME most staff and public are much more pleasant. I had trouble getting DS in his pram and a suitcase on to a train at Euston earlier this week and a member of staf was falling over himself to help

Pozzled Fri 19-Jul-13 19:40:43

I wouldn't expect tube staff to help either- it's nice when they offer but it's not their responsibility. I usually find that other passengers will help, but if I really couldn't manage the pushchair myself, then I wouldn't travel that route.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Fri 19-Jul-13 19:42:36

I've had metro staff help me with pushchair when the lift was broken, but only if I took DS out, as they aren't insured. Couldn't you have taken him out and dragged it up behind you, or just asked a fellow passenger? Most people would just grab the other end and help without even saying anything, in my experience.

wharrgarbl Fri 19-Jul-13 19:44:10

The UK seems to me to have been so overtaken by rules and regulations ('aren't insured', liability, risk) that both manners and common sense seem to have vanished.
It makes me sad.

VinegarDrinker Fri 19-Jul-13 19:45:43

I wouldn't think of asking tube staff to help tbh. Sorry to be blunt but I wouldn't even consider using a pram I couldn't lift on a route I knew I would need to lift it. All the Londoners I know have bought their buggies with this in mind.

Having said that I've always found fellow passengers offer to help anyway.

Worriedmind Fri 19-Jul-13 19:46:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 19-Jul-13 19:46:23

I've had this in the past. In the good old days, someone would have stepped up and lent a hand. These days, it's all health and safety and insurance issues (and the station employees are well within their rights not to assist you with heavy lifting).

The issue lies with the fact that a lot of the stations are so old, they're just now equipped for those with mobility issues/people with prams and so on. Until they're modernised (if ever!), people like you and me with a pram will struggle.

PenelopeChipShop Fri 19-Jul-13 19:46:57

I asked a fellow passenger in the end, had no choice! I honestly never go on the tube to stations where there isn't a lift usually but as I said if I hadn't gone out this morning I would have been letting a lot of people down as I needed to do some voluntary work that apparently had to be done this morning!

I totally see the point that it isn't their job to help but she still could have been nicer about it instead if making me feel like I needed to apologise for existing!!

VinegarDrinker Fri 19-Jul-13 19:47:05

Oh and we almost always use slings on public transport - tons easier.

PenelopeChipShop Fri 19-Jul-13 19:51:05

VinegarDrinker I used to do that too, much preferred it, but he's a big boy now he's one! And it was about 3o degrees today.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Fri 19-Jul-13 19:51:23

And whatt happens when a helpful member of staff slips while helping you and the pram gets dropped down the stairs? Someone, somewhere, would be happyito sue whoever they could.

VinegarDrinker Fri 19-Jul-13 19:53:16

I still sling my 2.5 year old! Was out on public transport with the newborn in the sling today too - not hugely fun in this weather I agree. I would get a second hand Maclaren or similar for public transport trips.

daisy2002 Fri 19-Jul-13 19:54:45

I work in a tube station & we aren't supposed to help people with luggage or pushchairs.
We aren't covered if we either hurt ourselves or if something happens to the buggy/baby.
I'm sure the policy is that you should only travel on the tube with what YOU can manage. So don't travel on the tube with 3 suitcases and expect me to help you, that kinda thing. Travel with what you can reasonably carry yourself.

I know it sounds harsh but if we were to help everyone with their pushchairs or luggage, we'd be there all day doing it and would end up with sore backs because of it.
I haven't been asked by help anyone with their pushchairs whilst at work but people have asked me for help with their luggage which i have always refused.... its your luggage, you carry it.

As for the staff, I'm sorry they were unhelpful. If i can't help someone i will always be polite about it & explain why.

Out of work i do help people with pushchairs, i just can't do it at work. I myself occasionally use the tube with a pushchair but i always carry the pushchair and my son myself and i plan my route where ever possible.

On a lighter note - we're not all miserable or unhelpful ;)

McFluffy Fri 19-Jul-13 19:57:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 19-Jul-13 19:57:28

I loved my mclaren for this - can pick it & 3 year old child up. Tbh though I've mostly accosted a likely looking passenger & have always been helped. I think tube staff can't help because of liability if something happens.

My niece did get dropped out of her pram when it was being carrier up steps - one of those carry cots with no straps - had a small brain haemorrhage. Fine now though!

TheDoctrineOfAllan Fri 19-Jul-13 20:02:38

If they were in the office, they might have been on a break or waiting for a meeting or something?

VeryDullNameChange Fri 19-Jul-13 20:13:35

Tube staff simply don't do this, it's a blanket rule. I do think that carting things up and down stairs is a bit different to assisting you onto a train.

I always got by fine by going to the top of the stairs, making a feeble attempt at picking up the pushchair and exuding an air of "Please lend a hand". Someone always helped - and I always volunteer a hand in my turn.

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