We have spoken out so many times concerning accessibility on public transport, that news of the appalling treatment meted out to comedian Tanyalee Davis at the hands of Great Western Railway is beyond belief!!!
For 120,000 people with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) and some 13 million living with a disability, frequently being forced to move to accommodate pushchairs etc is an everyday occurrence. That’s twenty percent of the population fearing to travel. The last thing we need is confrontation with fellow commuters or public resentment, which, from accounts, the train employee in this case arguably incited.
60 plus seats in a carriage with just one accessible space for a wheelchair is simply not proportionate, representative, or reasonable. Shudder the thought that TWO people might have a disability and want to travel at the same time! It is downright discriminatory. A serious re-think on carriage design on trains, and other modes of public transport is urgently required.
Transport is literally a lifeline for the disabled and The Department for Transport (DfT) claims it is ‘determined that disabled people have the same access to public transport as non-disabled’, but with insufficient space and public humiliation the norm, how can that be? We have an Equality Act. However, the DfT needs to get its own Act together and impose change immediately.
If you need our support, call 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship