To think this is discrimination(41 Posts)
I accept that I am probably being very ignorant and naive and apologies in advance if this is the case, but I recently moved house to a location near Leeds with a small local train station. I rarely travel by train but today I did with pram for DD. I got on the train no problem then later on the same day returned to the small local station. When I got there is realised that to get out you need to go down a large flight of stairs, under the platform and up a large flight of stairs at the other side. Having a large buggy with me it was an issue but thankfully uickly resolved by a kind stranger who offered to help. However, had it been a person with physical disabilities that required a wheelchair or crutches, I can't imagine how they would get out...it feels horribly discriminatory to me that people with those kind of disabilities are not able to use the train service to that station as there were no lifts or ramps. I don't know if this is commonplace (hence my comment about probably seeming ignorant) as I don't use trains very often but what would somebody do if they weren't aware that there was no access and couldn't get out? I just found it quite shocking.
Normally go on a stop to somewhere with access, change platforms and come back on the right side.
Disability access laws are around reasonable access - if ots an old, small station it might not be reasonable to build a lift but they should make it clear there is no disabled access on that route
Fair enough, it just seemed quite unfair but I suppose 'discrimination' is probably too strong a word
It's quite normal. I have to plan meticulously, think ahead and never, ever be spontaneous.
Everything takes longer, usually because you have to do daft things like go 2 stops out of your way to an accessible platform then wait for another train coming back in the same direction, just to get to the right side of the platform you need to be on.
Where I work, there are no disabled parking bays (but that's illegal I hear you cry. So is breaking the speed limit.) We have 5 floors and on the main floor with all the workstations there is only a men's toilet. 200 staff on that floor, assume 100 women, have to go to another floor to pee. And there is only 1 disabled toilet - on the ground floor at the very back of the building and through a kitchen. Hidden away but somehow every person who needs to take a shit at work finds it and thinks it's their right to shit there. Also found it being used as a meeting room once for a 121, no joke.
You're right - after all, someone who has mobility problems has enough shit to deal with without having to do extra train journeys. On some rural lines it could delay their journey by a couple of hours. And what would happen if they got off the train first before they realized?
In an ideal world, people who already have to deal with the crap of having a disability shouldn't have to do extra planning and journeys. Unfortunately, old buildings don't always make things easy.
Hopefully, there would be some staff who would actually help out.
But it makes you think that travelling alone must be impossible for some people, and it really shouldn't be.
bobgoblin - when I said many people had too much shit to deal with, I was meaning figuratively, but it would seem literal as well.
that's just totally crap!
How could staff 'help out' without putting themselves at risk?
Sorry but this is just how it is with older buildings.
The small, rural station that I used to go to had a long platform-type thing that they put across the tracks, as a sort-of bridge, for wheelchairs etc. to cross over. I just assumed most stations did that!
IF there are stairs it must be possible to fit a stair lift that a wheelchair can go on. Like a stannah chair one but no seat, just a wheel on platform. Surely that technology exists?
Just googled, they do exist. No excuse not to have them then. They should be fucking everywhere.
Discrimination isn't too strong a word. It's the right word. The station set up does discriminate against those physically incapable fo using the stairs. But not all discrimination is illegal, though that doesn't make it fair.
yes but Jen if they need another person to help the disabled person onto them, then they are not much good in this case. (unmanned stations. health and safety at work)
this is why disabled people get DLA and/or a subsidised car.
I am not saying it is OK, but is just how it is.
Is it actually in the Leeds area or is it nearer Huddersfield? If so I may know the station you're on about. If it is that one, the local mp has been trying to get disabled access to both platforms for a while and the government keeps delaying any action on doing anything about it.
If you check online for the specific station then you sometimes find that there is a solution involving the staff ushering the wheelchair user across the actual tracks - but you often have to book your travel days in advance to use it, so the convenience that other people have of being able to pick the train you travel on the spur of the moment (admittedly at a cost) is not available. Or, as PP have said, you're stuck with travelling to the nearest station with a lift - crossing over and travelling back down the line in the opposite direction, which takes god knows how long. Or you'd travel to a further station with access and take a taxi - this is the sort of thing that DLA is meant for, but it doesn't go very far.
Our not tiny town's train station for years had stairs up and across and down again. They've finally fitted lifts hurrah! but before, if you needed to cross the track and couldn't manage steps the staff would take you along to a safe bit and escort you safely across the track.
yes but Jen if they need another person to help the disabled person onto them, then they are not much good in this case
So make them so they don't need another person to help them on. It's not difficult.
Yup, I felt incredibly grateful to disability activists that I was able to wheel my pram around relatively easily (and often noted one or two small steps that I could bump the pram down that would be a completely barrier to someone in a wheelchair)
When going by train with my DD who's in an electric w/chair we do have to plan and book in advance to ensure a relatively smooth journey....if you book in advance they are supposed to ring through so that the porter at the station has a ramp ready to enable you to board alight the train... This has on 2 occasions not happened and one time I had to stand in the yellow lined space to stop the train leaving with my daughter on waiting to get off....the passengers were stressed that they were being kept waiting my DD was stressed I'd leave her on the train and the porter was
pissed off stressed that no one had informed him that a passenger with a wheelchair was on the train! It's a horrible situation to be in and an embarrassment all round.
My local station has a ramp - if it was stretched out it would be 1:4 of a mile long and incredibly steep - it featured on several disability programmes. I couldn't use it when I was using a wheelchair or walking frame because I am not fit enough . I have never seen it used by wheelchair users. I went to Rome to the colluseum a few years ago - it has a glass lift. Whenever I complain about a lack of disability access and get the standard reply about the building bring old I send a picture of the lift in Rome.
It might be "normal". However Normal doesn't always = correct.
So yes it is discrimination. Not my opinion but a fact. The definition is of discrimination is when you stop someone doing something or try to. The same with someone disabled. How the hell would they have managed
Yes, thank goodness for the kind stranger, who was there to help you with the pram.
I was without a car for a year when youngest was in a buggy so spent a lot of time on buses and trains. I thought exactly the same as you OP. Do I remember correctly that maps of stations or the underground displays disabled badges next to the stations that have disabled access (and therefore buggy friendly) I was surprised how many had quite poor access
I always get a little bit annoyed when travelling by train from our local station because there is stairs only access on one side. On platform 2 you can access it from the road outside, fairly steep hill so would be difficult for someone in a wheelchair but the other side is steps only. Every time someone has helped me with the pushchair and children but I have never seen someone struggle with a wheelchair down there. I assume they do what pp's suggested and go on to another station and come back on the correct side. What a pain! It's a very old building so maybe they aren't allowed to make accessibility amendments but that seems mad to me.
I used to work for a Kent railway company about 4 years ago. If a train station was not accessable then the company had an account with a cab company which could accept wheelchairs. The wheelchair user would then get off the stop before/after as close as possible and then get in the cab and it would bring them to the station they wanted to go to (but if you passed your destination on the way then they would usually let you out) we also did this if a customer wanted to travel very early/late and no staff to help them onto the train.
It did need to be booked but most of the time we would accommodate even if someone called up that they were at the station.
I agree it seems unfair. However it's hard to modernise some of these beautiful old stations. Not sure what the answer is.
Beauty doesn't come into it. It's possible to make almost everywhere accessible. It is about money - which needs to be found from somewhere.
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