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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Disabled passengers are being let down by rail companies and left to fend for themselves, a consumer watchdog has found.

Disabled passengers getting a raw deal from rail companies
Article in the Telegraph


"The study by Passenger Focus tested the industry's Assisted Passenger Reservation Service (APRS) in a 'mystery shopper exercise' across the country.

It found that, despite help having been prebooked, station staff were unaware that they would be dealing with a disabled customer on two out of three occasions.

Fewer than half were given details of a meeting point at the station. Of those shoppers given an appointed meeting place, only 58% were actually met there by staff.

While in most cases they did try to help, in 15 per cent of occasions passengers were left to fend for themselves.

But on over half the bookings the staff failed to tell passengers that the stations did not have disabled access.

On nearly two out of three occasions call centre failed to tell the passenger whether the train had a toilet with disabled access.

At times mystery shoppers complained about the attitude of staff. "Not at all helpful, just felt like she couldn't get rid of me quick enough," said one wheelchair user."