Some of the stories I read around accessibility on the railway are astonishing in their inhumanity. From lack of available toilet facilities resulting in people having to soil themselves to people not being met at stations in spite of having booked assistance well in advance and either not being able to board or alight services where they are needed.
There’s someone who works here at Network Rail who is quite high up and is in a wheelchair, some of her own stories of travelling by train leave one gobsmacked. Tanni Grey-Thompson has been a massive voice in lobbying for improvements in provision for disabled customers, which is clearly a good thing, but my lord, so much more needs to be done.
It’s all so fucking simple to get right - honestly - but the contempt with which disabled passengers are treated is downright disgraceful and should be a source of shame for the rail industry. In this day and age every single person should be able to turn up at a station when they need to travel and alight where they need to without it turning into a lottery.
One of the less publicised parts of the industrial disputes around removing guards from trains was around this provision to ensure there was always at least one person available to provide a ramp for passengers that needed assistance etc - especially with increasing numbers of stations becoming unstaffed.