Transport CommitteeWritten evidence from Alice Reid (DAT 04)

I would like to bring to your attention problems encountered by the disabled and their families who choose to travel by rail. Last year I travelled by rail from Kings Cross to Edinburgh with my daughter, son-in-law and three children, the youngest of whom aged 8yrs is in a wheelchair. All necessary arrangements re seating and ramps were put in place well before the journey but when we reached Kings Cross no one was available with a ramp so my son-in-law had to carry my grandson on board while we managed the wheelchair and the other two children. This happened at Kings Cross on both the outward and return journeys, whilst at Waverley Station a ramp awaited us at the door of the carriage on arrival and departure. The journey to Scotland was comfortable but the same could not be said of our return journey. We were seated in the middle of the carriage instead of near the toilets as my daughter had requested and there was no where to store the wheelchair. My son-in-law had to sit with it jammed against his and the table leg for the whole journey from Edinburgh to London which proved to be a problem when the buffet trolley came round. They “managed” because of my grandsons age but I dread to think what would have been the situation if he had been older.

November 2012

Prepared 13th September 2013