Allow disabled people freedom to travel on trains

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Last week Govia Thameslink Railway instructed their staff not to help people with disabilities to access their trains if there is a possibility offering assistance will make the service late. Apparently this is part of company policy.

As a wheelchair user I am appalled by this decision. I use this train service, it’s one of the main things that enables me to lead a 'normal life'. But with this decision Govia has made me feel like an inconvenience, rather than as a human being or a paying customer.

I’m worried I will end up missing train after train, or become unable to use the service all together, because it takes “too much time to help people like me.” It can take a little more time to deploy a ramp or to help someone onto a train. And in the past I’ve had experiences where the person meant to assist me is late. I'm concerned if staff decide these adjustments run the “possibility” of making the train late then they will not provide them. These tiny amounts of time shouldn’t mean people like me loose out of traveling on the train.

Govia is one of the biggest train operators in the country, there are hundreds if not thousands of disabled people that threaten to be affected by this.

If they are struggling to get their trains to run on time they need to find solutions that don’t punish disabled people. We have the same rights as any other passenger to travel on the train and we deserve to be treated with dignity.

We need to speak out and hold Govia to account now. If they are allowed to get away with it, other train companies might follow. This could have a disastrous effect on disabled people's travel and independence.

This is a disgrace and a step backwards. This policy takes away choice and freedom for many disabled travellers.

We CANNOT let this policy continue! Please sign my petition calling on Govia Thameslink to scrap this policy