Delays incurred by disABLED persons travelling by train to be compensated by Delay Repay.

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In July 2019, the Government issued a report, "Research on the experience of disabled rail passengers". It found the network is difficult to access. DisABLED people travel less frequently & 2/3rds experience problems when travelling.

I have a disABILITY, but not a physical one. I am passionate about championing a more inclusive society & I try and do so on a daily basis. I frequently read accounts, in the press and on social media, of disABLED passengers travelling by train that experience delays and disruption to their journey. This is a particular problem for persons who use a wheelchair or scooter. For example, disABLED passengers report problems with pre-booked "Travel Assist" not being available or arriving late. In addition, there is a lack of capacity in carriages for wheelchairs and scooters. This means passengers are unable to travel on their booked or chosen train. Other delays are due to ramps not being available to allow disABLED passengers to board and disembark the train safely and on time. All these, & other reasons, result in delays and disruption to disABLED passengers. In addition, they have a "knock-on" effect on their onward travel arrangements.

Train Companies publish the details of their compensation arrangements within their "Passenger's Charter". Most have signed up to "Delay Repay", a national compensation scheme for rail users. Currently, the criteria for compensation is based on delayed travel times, starting between 15 & 30 minutes, and on cancellations. I'm petitioning for all delays & disruption to disABLED passenger to journeys, that result in delays starting between 15 and 30 minutes, or them being unable to travel, to be added to the "Delay Repay" criteria. This would apply to all persons travelling with a valid disABLED Persons Railcard and, if applicable, their carer who is travelling with them. 

All that is needed is a "disABLED" icon to be added to the current online or printable "Delay Repay" form. This change, I believe, will reduce delays and disruption for disABLED passengers, giving them more confidence to travel by rail and, therefore, increase the frequency by which they do so. This change is also required to give disABLED passengers equal rights to claim compensation when travelling by train, with the majority non-disABLED population.