Trainline comes under fire for not being inclusive to people with disabilities
Northern Rail has been criticised recently following a mobility scooter user’s complaint that he has not been able to access its trains with his mobility aid.
The trainline’s current policy outlines that wheelchair and scooter users can go on its trains using the ramp provided, as long as their mobility equipment can be folded once on board. However, this is not possible for people with larger mobility scooters or mobility products that are not foldable.
Additionally, as seen in the The Mail, Northern Rail claims that the ramp on many of its trains has too steep a gradient for certain mobility scooters to be able to get up.
Responding to this, Antony Jennings, a mobility scooter user, told The Mail: “I cannot understand the current policy – my mobility scooter is able to do far steeper gradients then those leading onto the trains.
“This discriminates against users like myself who are now unable to access your trains.”
Antony’s feelings on being discriminated from using the rail service have also been echoed by comedian Tanyalee Davis, who was asked to move from a disabled space on a Great Western Railway train to make space for a lady with a pram, describing the experience as ‘humiliating.’
Christopher Jackson, Regional Director of Northern Rail, said: “All the new trains have been designed to include full access for mobility scooters.
“According to the new law, by 2020 all trains have to allow access for mobility scooters and although our new trains can accommodate this we will still have many trains in operation can’t. This is because many of our trains were built before mobility scooters were created.
“Therefore, when we introduce these new trains in 2019 we still can’t say that yes our trains can allow full mobility access, but by 2020 they will. By the time the law is set in motion we will abide.”
The EU’s regulations state that all trains will be accessible to people with mobility issues by the end of 2019. Known as ‘Persons of Reduced Mobility,’ the regulations ensure that all people can use transport regardless of mobility.