A DISABLED Brit has claimed that she had to argue with train staff to access a ramp after a worker “questioned” her initial request.
Marie Blackett was allegedly boarding a London North Eastern Railway (LNER) train from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire on Monday when a staff member named “Gareth” questioned her request for an accessible ramp.
The disabled activist, who relies on a wheelchair for mobility, claims that she had to argue with staff to finally meet her request, before another worker obliged.
She added that the staff member failed to secure the ramp in place, leaving her pleading for train staff to undergo further training in an attempt to raise awareness.
Taking to social media on Monday, Marie wrote in a post: “Hi LNER – you might want to tell staff at Peterborough, especially a gentleman called Gareth, that if a disabled person asks for a ramp, it’s because they need one and it’s not his place to question that.
“I don’t appreciate having to argue for the assistance experience tells me I need.
“Also, the person who did assist me, whilst lovely, didn’t know how to use the ramp and I had to tell them.
“They also then didn’t secure it properly, but given I’ve had this happen so often I know what is safe enough. LNER staff need training on the Greater Anglia (GA) train ramps.
“The issue, as always, is with the GA ‘level’ trains. I always request a ramp because experience tells me that the design does not work for my chair, and I get stuck.
“But every time, I’m told that I don’t need one and have the ‘level’ feature explained to me like I’m five. I understand the concept, but it doesn’t work.
“I make an explicit and simple request on every booking and every time, it’s ignored at the very least and at worst, I have to argue or at times, demonstrate the issue before I get a ramp.
“Sometimes with multiple members of staff. Then it seems that staff outside of GA aren’t trained to use the ramps, so I always have to instruct them and nine times out of ten it’s still not secured as it should be.
“Last September, my husband had to get down on his hands and knees and deploy a ramp for me because staff at [Peterborough] were clueless.”
Marie’s post received over 890 likes and dozens of comments as many were left stunned by her experience.
Managing Director of LNER David Horne commented: “Please accept my apologies. I’ll ensure this is followed up. Thanks for your feedback.”
Meanwhile another person said: “It’s also illegal not to provide assistance to disabled people LNER.”
A third commented: “Gareth is no gentleman.”
An LNER spokesperson said: “We welcome feedback from our customers. We are trying to contact the customer concerned.
“We continue to work hard to ensure everyone enjoys the best possible experience when travelling with us.“