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New rail Govia Thameslink timetable an insult to disabled passengers

18 May 2018

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said the latest instruction from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) tells staff not to attempt to place people of reduced mobility (known as PRMs) on a train if there is a possibility of delaying the service.

RMT website and Press release

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "I cannot believe, in this day and age, we are telling staff to ignore the needs of disabled people if the time it will take to deploy a ramp and assist them on to the train will cause a delay.” He calls for GTR to be stripped of their franchise.

A spokesman for GTR, which runs services including those on Southern Rail, said: "We place a priority on making our services accessible to all and actively encourage people with restricted mobility to use our trains. If any passenger - with accessibility needs or not - arrives late at a station with insufficient time to board, then we can't hold the train at the platform.”

Sue Bott, Deputy CEO of Disability Rights UK, said, “Oh dear we disabled people really are an inconvenience turning up to stations and expecting to get on a train.  How unreasonable of us is that? Well not actually. 

“We have the same rights as any other passenger to be able to travel on trains and be treated with dignity." 

Disability Rights UK would like to hear from anyone unable to board a Thameslink train in the coming weeks. Please contact Sue.bott@disabilityrightsuk.org

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