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Join Richard in making travel fair

Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

Scope community team

Like many disabled people, our very own @Richard_Scope travels a lot for work and is no stranger to the challenges of public transport. While Richard will say he manages quite well, he recently spoke to Scope about a time earlier this year when an inaccessible platform left him stranded during a weekend away with his wife and daughter.

With all his assistance and tickets booked in advance, the journey from Coventry to Kent (via London) was uneventful and all had a great day at the seaside. It was only when time came to catch the train home that the problems began.

‘When we arrived at the station, we were told by the station staff that there was no wheelchair access to the platform we needed to be on.’ Richard says. ‘We were then told the only station with a lift was in the next town!’ It turned out that the only way to the next town was by taxi, but with the only wheelchair accessible taxi unavailable for an hour, Richard and his family missed all their connecting trains for London.

‘We spent the last of our money on the taxi. When we eventually got home, we were tired, thirsty and a lot later than planned. The experience also had an upsetting effect on my daughter who was so upset at seeing me treated so differently.’

A man Richard in a wheelchair waiting at a train station platform

Three months after Richard complained, one of the companies involved apologised and accepted responsibility. But the whole situation could have been avoided with better communication and guarantees of what could be expected if something went wrong during Richard’s journey.

Scope are currently campaigning to help make travel fair and we need your help if we’re going to make this happen. We want bus, train, taxi and metro companies to make a clear promise to disabled passengers about what they should be able to expect, and an easy way to complain if things go wrong with a journey.

To make them listen and for our campaign to make a difference, we need you to tell us what promises you want to see public transport companies make in order to make it easier for disabled people to travel.

How would you improve public transport for disabled people? What promises would you like companies to make? Tell us how to make travel fair here and in the comments below!

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