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New GWR trains have no space for buggies

(46 Posts)
disneyatemydaughter Thu 19-Jul-18 22:23:54

I was travelling from Stroud to Cheltenham today with my 13 month old. When the train pulled in, I raced with my buggy to the disabled carriage, only to be told that disabled is 'in first class' and 'isn't for you'.

After politely explaining that my baby would scream and/or slide down to walk about while the train was moving if he was not clipped in, a kind member of staff - Nick - allowed me to sit there and offered me free tea whilst chatting about his own toddler.

On the way home, the staff were just as lovely. They let me sit there with the buggy (thankfully as my son has just gone to sleep) and pressed a free coffee on me.

But the lovely staff were all breaking the rules. GWR rent these trains from Hitachi; the lack of buggy/disabled space in Standard class means they can make a bit of extra cash. But parents are forced to fold buggies or stand in the vestibule.

It's put me off going to London to see family over the holidays.

OP’s posts: |
LARLARLAND Thu 19-Jul-18 22:26:12

You should not be using places designated for disabled passengers to park your pram.

IVEgotthePOWER Thu 19-Jul-18 22:28:17

Our trains the disabled spaces are usually full of bloody bikes!

MaybeDoctor Thu 19-Jul-18 22:32:40

Another option would be to book two seats with a Family Railcard and take his car seat?

PinkSquash Thu 19-Jul-18 22:35:12

You should fold your pram anyway, and some of the IET trains do have wheelchair spaces in standard class, but if not, passengers with a disability can go into first class.

A wheelchair space isn't for prams.

AndInShortIWasAfraid Thu 19-Jul-18 22:39:14

I travelled on the new GWR trains with my newborn and had to stand in the vestibule from Swindon to London. I asked about pram spaces they used to have and was told that I would have to fold my pram and hold my baby. I have just given up taking trains and drive in to London now.

OrangeSamphire Thu 19-Jul-18 22:44:38

Take a sling.

It’s a short term problem. Your child will be walking and self sufficient to colour/read on public transport soon enough.

Unlike, say, my wheelchair using son.

IVEgotthePOWER Thu 19-Jul-18 22:52:00

When i approached my train company about a large number of bikes blocking the carriage they basically told me unless there is a disabled person its first come first served and as many bikes as the driver will allow at their discretion

RunMummyRun68 Thu 19-Jul-18 23:00:21

It isn't buggy space*/*disabled!!!

It's a wheelchair space.... for wheelchairs

Fold your prom and learn to occupy your child!

DoYouWantABourbon Thu 19-Jul-18 23:01:18

There is not a lack of 'buggy/disabled space', as you put it.

There is space for wheelchair users, as there should be, and it is not for you to use.

If you are so entitled/inflexible/incapable that you cannot fold your pram and carry your child for the hour or so you are on a train, get a car. It is not GWT's problem.

Also, staff being nice to you does not mean you have a basis for a complaint. It just means they are nice people who can't be arsed arguing. It's not their problem if you can't get your child to sit in your lap.

TroubledLichen Fri 20-Jul-18 05:27:48

Sorry OP I appreciate the journey must have been tough (or not as Nick hooked you up with some much needed caffeine) but I think it’s actually a really good idea that the wheelchair space is in first as it stops the space being blocked by standing passengers if the train is busy and means a wheelchair user won’t be prevented from boarding (I’ve seen it happen on commuter trains).

I also have a 13MO and I know it’s tough but if you can’t fold your pram and occupy your child then public transport really isn’t for you and you should get a car. We do a lot of air travel where it’s sit nicely in the seat/on our laps or walk up and down the aisle, no it’s not terribly relaxing but strapped down to a buggy isn’t an option and yet somehow we manage!

Biggreygoose Fri 20-Jul-18 06:02:54

The new Hitachi GWR trains absolutely do have disabled spaces in standard class. Was on one yesterday that did, and one the day before that etc etc.

It all depends on the carriage types hooked up to the train. The one you were on obviously didn't, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

(The morality of using a disabled space as a pram park is a completely different and subjective issue)

drearydeardre Fri 20-Jul-18 06:13:54

stroud to cheltenham is hardly a long distance journey shock
very entitled attitude imo

drearydeardre Fri 20-Jul-18 06:15:29

yep - looked it up - a 45 min maximum journey !

MaybeDoctor Fri 20-Jul-18 07:35:00

However, I do think that trains should have both a wheelchair priority space and a pram priority space, with fold-down seats. Some of the newer tube trains have exactly that, so it can’t be impossible or unrealistic to provide.

‘Take a car’ shouldn’t be the answer when surely train companies should be encouraging rail travel.

Or, for safety purposes, there should be some form of infant seat restraint on offer.

drearydeardre Fri 20-Jul-18 07:46:03

children under 5 do not pay for a ticket - if you want special facilities - pay for the buggy and the child. A pram priority space on overcrowded trains shock

ChadwithaK Fri 20-Jul-18 07:49:18

Take your baby out of the prom and sit in a seat and entertain your child. Ffs.

ChadwithaK Fri 20-Jul-18 07:49:59


disneyatemydaughter Fri 20-Jul-18 07:51:32

Of course disabled people have a harder time and should always have priority!

But it seems to me that GWR could break the bank and provide disabled space in 1st class and maybe one buggy space in standard. It's a short journey I was on, but I imagine for someone with a few children travelling far it would be awful. I was mainly angry that it is seen as socially acceptable for maximum profit to be the main driving force of every single change.

(And my son does cry unless he's allowed to walk about, once un-clipped. In the buggy I can keep him happy with books, because he knows he can't slide down.) Perhaps those of you implying I am a bad person should think twice before saying personal hurtful things about people you don't know. Just because you're online doesn't mean you can forget your manners!

OP’s posts: |
slowsloegin Fri 20-Jul-18 07:56:17


Yes of course there should be pram spaces, and families should be supported to access trains.

One of the benefits of making transport and building more accessible for wheelchair users is that it makes them more accessible for a much larger griup who also have access needs. This is a good thing.

As long as people with buggies are prepared to make way for any wheelchair users who get on, of course they should use empty wheelchair spaces.

Pirandello24 Fri 20-Jul-18 07:58:03

I think a lot of the responses here are pretty harsh. Of course wheelchair users would take priority, but obviously if you have a napping baby and you're getting on a train where your journey is longer than, say, 10 mins, you would look to see if the disabled space is unoccupied. If a disabled person needed the space, you'd vacate it immediately. Not a big deal really.

RiverTam Fri 20-Jul-18 08:00:40

The train should have some fold down seats that can be used for buggies. I agree it can be incredibly hard with babies of this age, and I’m sure if the OP was struggling to get her baby plus everything else she had in the buggy into a seat and then occupy a wriggler for 45 minutes she’d be subject to endless tutting and huffing too. And unless trains travel is a regular thing for children who exactly can you teach them how to behave? Role play? Come on.

But MN is always full of people who assume that if you admit to finding situations difficult and wish things were otherwise you’re crap and shouldn’t be out in public. Ignore them.

PaulHollywoodsSexGut Fri 20-Jul-18 08:02:09

People are being absolute turds to the OP; let’s be real here: wheelchair users always and unconditionally take priority over pushchairs/buggies etc. No question.

This is also an extremely pertinent thread as it talks about GWR whom I believe had to issue an apology this week when one of their staff verbally abused a wheelchair using comedienne who wanted to use her rightful space and was told she couldn’t as there was a buggy there. I hope that guy’s been handed his cards.

BUT @maybedoctor has it right. On a 6–10 carriage train, there are no buggy spaces? That’s a big fat fail there GWR.

Oh and “fold your buggy down” isn’t always an option. It just isn’t in cases of carrying luggage, in cases of a crowded train where to do so would cause pushing, shoving and stress, and also it can be extremely difficult to carry a baby who wants to walk kicking and screaming the whole way.

Let me make this clear: never ever would I ever expect to take priority. but in the event a wheelchair user required the space I would vacate/disembark immediately, most would I think

The problem here is GWR are being daft by giving no buggy spaces.

Applesandpears23 Fri 20-Jul-18 08:03:44

I have a 13 month old and use a sling. It is possible but hard work to entertain them on a train. Tearing bits off wraps to eat, stacking snack pots and playing hide and seek with small toys behind my back are all good ways to entertain them.

AsAProfessionalFekko Fri 20-Jul-18 08:04:49

Of you are travelling about use a sling of a small Mcclaren type fold up buggy.

Please don't use the disabled space - there was a story on the BBC website rising week where a disabled lady was forced off the train with her mobility scooter because someone kicked off because she wanted to use the space for her bugaboo. It looked like a small baby, so possibly the mum (?) was a precious mummy, or didn't want to lift the baby out and fold the pram up (or ask someone to do it for her). These prams are a pain to fold - we had one, and always used a small fold up when travelling.

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