Transport CommitteeWritten evidence from Teresa Jeffery (DAT 07)

I heard You & Yours today re transport and disabled. My husband is disabled- he has a rare form of dementia and as a result of this is registered blind. We do use the railways but have two main difficulties:

1.Mind the Gap. When you arrive for the first time at a station you have no idea as to whether you will encounter an enormous gap until you arrive. We went recently via underground to Waterloo. The gap was so large I felt it was unsafe for my husband to alight. We had to go on to Lambeth North then back. By then I had worked out that the gap was less if we got off at the end rather than middle of the carriage. I know we can ask for assistance in advance but we are not psychic.

Same problem travelling from our local station Sawbridgeworth to Bishops Stortford. All is OK if train comes in on the other platform but if we come in on the Cambridge platform nearest the ticket office the gap is impossible.

2.We have a disabled railcard but it is impossible for me to book the cheaper advance tickets for us because owing to the variability of my husband’s health I cannot predict whether he will be having a good day in which case his mobility is good and we can stick to timings or a bad day in which either he might be too poorly to be able to travel at all or we may have to return early. This results in us always having to purchase more expensive tickets which I feel is discriminatory.

November 2012

Prepared 13th September 2013