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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. :-(

Lj8893 Sat 20-Jul-13 09:13:12

Mojito, that is what I was saying, you just worded it much better!

But yes if a company's Heath and safety and risk assessments state not to lift anything, help people up and down stairs etc etc and then an employee did, then they would have a hard time suing the company as an employee.

Phineyj Sat 20-Jul-13 09:23:40

I always try to travel via the Thameslink stations as a lot of them have lifts now, or use stations with flat access like Victoria. Or I walk most of the journey. One time I had a particularly difficult transfer I folded the pram wheels and held them in one hand and carried DD in her car seat in the other. It's not a great idea to travel with more than you can lift - goes for luggage as well. People are normally pretty helpful though.

PlatinumStart Sat 20-Jul-13 09:47:35

LJ but someone TFL related just posted to say that helping was a matter of discretion....implying there isn't a policy prohibiting it. Which means staff are choosing not to help. Which is a bit shit.

Lj8893 Sat 20-Jul-13 09:57:54

Sorry I didn't see that post. But yes if its not policy to not help for h&s reasons then yeah it's shit and selfish not helping if you are free to do so.

maja00 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:48:47

OP, an Oyster isn't that big, you could have bumped it up the stairs. It's not that hard, practice at home.

Otherwise just get a cheap supermarket umbrella stroller.

It's not that ridiculous to expect people to be self-sufficient while using public transport. Get something that folds and then you can use it on buses easily too.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sat 20-Jul-13 12:23:28

I think the "big strong man" line would have made me a bit eyeroll-y, to be honest.

Nanny0gg Sat 20-Jul-13 12:58:14

God forbid the OP should have requested help for a one-off journey. I suppose she should have gone out and bought a lightweight stroller specially for that purpose.

It's a bloody miserable world now, isn't it?

dreamingbohemian Sat 20-Jul-13 14:16:04

HoldMe Yes I said so earlier, was wondering if anyone would agree with me smile

Sorry but I don't really buy the 'how could I anticipate this happening' line -- you live in London, you take public transport, surely it's not that hard to anticipate you won't always have lifts available. Very few stations even have lifts, and lifts break down all the damn time, even stations close completely sometimes.

nicelyneurotic Sat 20-Jul-13 16:00:12

Hi, TfL have loads on accessibility on their website - I think those staff members would be in big trouble if you complained!

They have to help disabled passengers and I don't see how a baby (who can't walk and needs a pram) is much different to that.

Sorry you experienced this. Surprised fellow passengers didn't help you?

crashdoll Sat 20-Jul-13 16:05:06

"They have to help disabled passengers and I don't see how a baby (who can't walk and needs a pram) is much different to that."


Theironfistofarkus Sat 20-Jul-13 16:17:50

Just to clarify:

1. Anyone who helps someone but then eg drops a buggy is liable to be sued whether it is part of your job or not

2. If you drop someone or something as part of your job eg working for tfl then tfl could be sued as well as you.

3. Tfl apparently claim they are not insured if you do drop a thing or person so it will cost them money if an employee does it. So they encourage their staff not to help.

4. If you hurt yourself while doing your job then you can usually sue your employer but may be more difficult if you have disobeyed company policy to do it.

5. If an employee did injure themselves lifting a pram to help someone the pr consequences of them refusing to pay sick pay etc are such that as soon as the employee made the slightest fuss they would back down and pay it if they were eg tfl.

6. Lack of insurance is very unlikely to be a problem for the helping individual assuming they only help from time to time and their job doesn't suffer unduly. They would just be in the same position as a member of the public helping.

7. The refusal to allow staff to help is a benefit only to the company.

8. How sad that "insurance" considerations stop people helping each other. I don't care if I might get sued. I will continue to carry buggies etc and feel really sad that companies encourage others to do something different.

Annakin31 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:54:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsOakenshield Sat 20-Jul-13 17:53:10

sigh. Not all Bugaboos are massive, and not all Bugaboo owners are entitled. I had a Bee, and used it on London transport (buses, tubes and trains) every week for 2 years, about every fortnight for a year after that. I chose it because it's very narrow, and it has an adjustable handle which can be shoved right in so people don't bang into it. Although I couldn't carry DD in it (bad back) I could bump it down the many many stairs (3 flights) at my home station. However (unlike the person who said how crap Londoners were at this) I had many many offers of help over the years. As soon as DD could manage the stairs on her own I would take her out and carry the pram.

Though thinking about it, I don't think I ever had help from any LU staff.

MrsOakenshield Sat 20-Jul-13 17:54:27

oh, and I'm a born and bred Londoner and have helped many people with their prams (though, as I said earlier, not the really heavy P&T ones due to bad back).

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