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Another train company Another mobility scooter user.

(40 Posts)
HelenaDove Sat 11-Aug-18 16:53:51

www.disabilitynewsservice.com/train-company-faces-calls-to-rip-up-scooter-policy-after-latest-shameful-episode/

Happy to let her buy a ticket though after she made it clear that she uses a scooter.

CuriousaboutSamphire Sat 11-Aug-18 17:08:07

Sorry, I would have replied sooner, but I had to check what decade/century I am currently living in!

How the hell do they get away with any of that?

HelenaDove Sat 11-Aug-18 17:22:13

Yy Samphire its like we are regressing.

runningkeenster Sat 11-Aug-18 17:26:38

I think a new law needs to be passed to require anyone who works in the HQ of a rail company to have to use the trains themselves for a week.

in fact make that anyone who works in a an HQ, like for retailers. Use the shops yourselves, work in them for a week and THEN make your stupid policy decisions.

Why is a scooter different from a wheelchair?

Have Northern (and GWR was it?) actually heard of the Equality Act? I thought the exemption for travel services had expired.

Alexarthur Sat 11-Aug-18 18:34:17

I was getting the train from Paddington to Swansea the other day.

Down one end of some carriages, they have, on both sides, a space for a wheelchair, and two seats for companions. So, per carriage, there's room for two disabled people and up to 4 companions.

Me and another woman - both able bodied and travelling alone - had for some nonsensical reason been allocated two of the companion seats.

At Reading, an elderly disabled man in a big mobility scooter and his wife got on. It soon became clear that the space was really far too small for its supposed purpose - it was impossible for him to reverse in, so he had to sit with his back to the window sticking out into the aisle.

And then, at Newport, I could hardly believe it when station staff were there with two more people in massive mobility scooters to get on. They ended up all jammed in together.

I and the other woman who had been allocated those seats obviously vacated them.

So they don't have nearly enough space for disabled people, they don't properly plan which carriages they're going to put them in, and squeeze in more wheelchairs than they designed the very limited space for, plus they allocate some of the disabled seats to able bodied people!

Alexarthur Sat 11-Aug-18 18:34:31

This was GWR by the way

UpOnDown Sat 11-Aug-18 21:37:27

There are limits to the size and weight of wheelchair and scooter allowed on trains, at least in theory.

SunnySkiesSleepsintheMorning Sat 11-Aug-18 21:40:51

Some mobility scooters are the ones which are legal on the road. Not saying this is excusable or in any way acceptable btw and there needs to be a better policy.

SunnySkiesSleepsintheMorning Sat 11-Aug-18 21:41:50

Unfortunately, some of the spaces aren’t built for mobility scooters.

SnuggyBuggy Sat 11-Aug-18 21:48:00

Mobility scooters are nothing new and rail companies have had plenty of time to work out a policy.

Muchtoomuchtodo Sat 11-Aug-18 22:02:22

Train companies need to improve their booking systems to be able to distinguish between the different types of mobility scooters that their customers might use.
There are obviously scooters of different shapes and sizes and a one size fits all solution obviously doesn't work - especially when the companion seats are booked for people who haven't requested or need them as quoted by a pp.
It's 2018. I'm struggling to understand why we still hear of so many similar situations.

liverbird10 Sat 11-Aug-18 22:42:54

Disgusting.

Broussard Sat 11-Aug-18 22:45:56

Mobility scooters are nothing new and rail companies have had plenty of time to work out a policy

Some of them are simply too large to safely manouvere onto and on trains and there isn't anything that can be done about that.

SnuggyBuggy Sat 11-Aug-18 23:00:40

But surely if the mobility scooter was likely to be a problem they shouldn't accept the booking.

A badly driven 8 mph scooter on a crowded commuter train would be interesting to say the least.

Neshoma Sat 11-Aug-18 23:12:45

Broussard is right, some scooters are huge. I'm surprised they can even get onto the trains. And it can't be safe having them sticking out in the aisle.

The trains would have to widen the doors and remove a number of seats to accommodate the scooter - I'm not sure if there would be room for them to turn around and get off. Then if they allocated space 2 or 3 I image the carriage would lose quite a number of seats. Would there have to be a policy for evacuating the scooter rider in the event of an accident?

I don't know what the answer is but everyone should be able to get on a train.

Primarystress Sat 11-Aug-18 23:32:34

How about reinstating a guard's van style carriage (obviously adapted to be suitable for those who might use it)?

There is a consultation on the Cross Country franchise at the moment and would urge people to respond to it - theirs is one of the worst franchises in terms of accessibility imo.

user139328237 Sat 11-Aug-18 23:45:32

No-one needs a scooter (there is always the option of a powered wheelchair for those who can't walk any distance) and scooters are much larger than other mobility aids. Northern are also currently in the process of upgrading or replacing much of their fleet after over 20 years of no investment and are having to use 30+ year old trains that were never designed to last this long and without consideration for wheelchair users so it would be basically impossible to make many of their current trains suitable for scooters.

HelenaDove Sun 12-Aug-18 00:15:16

Yes disabled people shouldnt have choices should they hmm

ASpringerEspanya Sun 12-Aug-18 00:18:56

You do realise that powered wheelchairs cost much much more than mobility scooters?

Did you stop to think that someone on disability benefits may not be able to afford a 10k motorised wheelchair so they buy or hire a mobility scooter instead?

HelenaDove Sun 12-Aug-18 00:20:54

DH uses a scooter He has limited mobility not no mobility . DH has found it easier to get insurance for the scooter from his insurance co. than he would for a powered wheelchair.

SnuggyBuggy Sun 12-Aug-18 04:06:41

It's not unreasonable to consider the safety of all the train users. A mobility scooter takes up a lot of floor space compared with a wheelchair and it's not unreasonable to say no if a large scooter can't be safely accommodated.

What's unreasonable is the company knew she was traveling using a mobility scooter, said it was fine and then changed their minds during the journey.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 12-Aug-18 08:40:37

I can't see how this isn't thoroughly illegal under the Equality Act. It's discrimination in just the same way as not allowing a guide dog into a taxi is - and taxi drivers regularly get in trouble for that.

I can understand that you might need maximum size restrictions for practical reasons, but some of them are really quite dinky, and really no different from electric wheelchairs

PerkingFaintly Sun 12-Aug-18 08:53:50

No-one needs a scooter (there is always the option of a powered wheelchair for those who can't walk any distance)

This just isn't true. One can buy a scooter with a removeable key which makes the scooter safe to park outside, and therefore doesn't require adaptations to the house (expensive and sometimes impossible) to get it indoors.

For the same reason scooters can be left outside shops which aren't accessible (you might be surprised how many aren't quite, law notwithstanding).

On the other hand, I got a Class 2 mobility scooter precisely because my local public transports specifies that it accepts Class 2 and not Class 3.

Explanation of Class 2 scooters:
www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk/scenario.php?csid=398

Confuzzlediddled Sun 12-Aug-18 09:11:17

Most of the comments here sum up the general perception of scooter users "nobody needs a scooter" "scooters are too large"

My scooter is as small as a wheelchair, it is certainly narrower and although slightly longer, some wheelchairs have leg extenders which make it longer that my scooter, it can turn in spaces as small and has been assessed as suitable to go on a bus.

It cost me just under £1000, a powerchair would potentially be 10 times that, I can put it in the boot of my car (with the assistance of a hoist) without dismantling it, something many wheelchairs cannot do - hence why many powerchair users have a WAV.

I am, despite using a scooter, "properly disabled", being disabled does not need you are necessarily paralysed despite what many people think, I have been assessed as unable to walk 20 metres, which isn't very far really, but as I can walk a few steps I have had comments about being a lazy fat cunt for using my scooter, having seen a lot of disablist comments here on MN on many threads there will be people reading this now who would make these comments.

I would give my scooter back, my blue badge, my "free" car (which isn't free) just to be able to kick a ball about with my children, or walk on a beach and dip my toes in the water, or just to not be in pain every moment of every day, oh and I've lost my well paying job due to it too.

Public transport is a disgrace when you are disabled, I can't just turn up I need to book a minimum of 24 hours in advance for a train - if its not Northern because I can't carry my scooter on without someone with me, even though it does fold. Many bus companies don't accept scooters, and if they do I won't get on if the spaces have prams already as the driver won't ask them to move, which is lovely in the winter when I've waited for 3 or 4 buses before getting on, but of course I can't be going anywhere important like work because I'm fat and lazy remember?

HelenaDove Sun 12-Aug-18 17:47:20

Avocado a couple of taxi drivers locally, got prosecuted for it.

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