One in three disabled people are facing rail misery, says report
Published on Wednesday, 27th June 2018
One in three disable people are facing rail misery, shows new report
More than a third (35%) of disabled people of working age say they have experienced problems using trains in the last year as a result of their disability, shows new research.
The nationally representative survey, commissioned by charity Leonard Cheshire, revealed the barriers faced by disabled adults between the ages of 18-65 when they attempt to travel by train.
Issues faced by disabled people include being unable to use train stations because of a lack of step-free access, to feeling trapped in the carriage, or not being made aware they are at the right stop.
Leonard Cheshire say disabled people are getting a second-rate service on the UK rail network.
The charity has now launched a campaign calling on the Government to make sure that all train operators provide accessible end-to-end journeys.
Disabled people's experience of train journeys can be extremely successful from start to finish; with inaccessible platforms and trains, difficulty purchasing tickets and a lack of announcements.
The personal experience of disabled people underline why change is needed.
Chloe is a 30-year-old writer living in Herne Bay, Kent.
Only one side of her local train station is wheelchair accessible, which means when she needs to catch a train to London, she's unable to get to the right platform and requires a taxi to take her to the nearest accessible station, 20 minutes away.
Chloe said: 'I have to book a taxi, assistance and a train ticket in advance. This is complicated and assistance is unreliable.
'I get really anxious that assistance is not going to be there or that there may not be a member of staff on the platform and I panic.
'You feel stranded and completely helpless. It's so stressful and exhausting.'
Good quality, accessible public transport means that disabled people can live, learn and work independently as they choose.
Having accessible and easier train journeys can be the difference between someone getting out, instead of feeling isolated and excluded from community life.
Vinny, from Liverpool, said of the situation: 'Poor public transport means you have to consider which jobs to go for, and some are just not an option.
'If someone offered you a promotion, but the nearest train station only has steps, then it will make the difference between going for the job or not.'
Neil Heslop, Chief Executive at Leonard Cheshire, said: 'It's unacceptable that in 2018, disabled people cannot travel independently and easily whenever they want to and are missing out on employment, education and social opportunities.
'Government must address these fundamental issues affecting rail travel for disabled people.'
To read the full report by ComRes you can visit there website here.