Transport CommitteeWritten evidence from Margaret E Cossey (DAT 104)

Trains

I occasionally travel by public transport. Last summer my husband and I holidayed in Dorset and we took the train to Poole.

Getting on the train was good, the guard soon got the ramp out and I was in. However the space designated for wheelchair users was full of people with large luggage. Inspite of the notice saying the seats had to be given up to the disabled, one lady would not move. The guard had disappeared knowing full well there was a problem. I have sympathy with these people, the trains are for commuters and do not now accommodate ordinary travellers with large luggage. Wheelchair users had to campaign for many years to be taken from a cold guards van to be able to travel in comfort in a carriage. We are not all commuters with a laptop and newspaper. There should be at least one carriage on each train to accommodate people with luggage. I have written to South West Trains about this but they are dismissive.

Buses

Again disabled people have campaigned long and hard to have access to buses. We now have this, but have to compete with buggies being in the space inspite of the notice which says it must be given up to a wheelchair user. The driver will not intervene. We only have one space on each bus so if it is full, we have to wait for the next bus. Buses should be designed to have two spaces, one for the w/c user and one for a buggy.

Prepared 13th September 2013