Statement: Response to Govia Thameslink Railway’s policy telling staff not to help disabled people if it will delay trains

Muscular Dystrophy UK responds to Govia Thameslink Railway’s policy advising staff not to help disabled people onto trains if it might delay the service.

According to a story in today’s Metro, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has told staff not to help disabled people on to trains if it might delay the service. Muscular Dystrophy UK has responded to the report, and is now urging Govia Thameslink Railway to work with our Trailblazers to prioritise accessibility for disabled passengers.

Govia Thameslink Railway denying assistance to disabled people to avoid delays is nothing short of discrimination.

 

“Muscular Dystrophy UK, which has campaigned for improved services and accessibility, regularly hears stories from its supporters about poor facilities at stations and pre-booked assistance being unavailable. In its End of the Line report, Trailblazers – our national network of 700 young disabled people and their supporters – found that 15% had experienced harassment and verbal abuse, while a quarter said their local train station was not accessible. So it is hugely disappointing to read about Govia Thameslink Railway’s new advice to staff, which demonstrates that some rail companies still have a way to go before they are accessible to all.

 

“Disabled people use trains like everyone else, to get to work, meet friends or enjoy a day out. We suggest Govia Thameslink Railway reconsiders its approach, and we would also urge the company – and all operators – to work with Trailblazers to prioritise accessibility for disabled passengers.”

 

Nic Bungay, Director of Campaigns, Care and Information

  • You can read Metro’s story here, and read Trailblazers’ 2016 End of the Line report here.

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Notes to editors

About muscle-wasting conditions

  • More than 70,000 children and adults in the UK have a muscle-wasting condition.
  • Muscle-wasting conditions may be inherited or strike out of the blue. These conditions cause muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasingly severe disability. Some affect the heart and muscles vital for breathing, cutting lives short.

Muscular Dystrophy UK

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK is the charity for 70,000 children and adults living with muscle-wasting conditions. We provide vital information, advice and support to help people live as independently as possible. We accelerate progress in research and drive the campaign for access to emerging treatments.
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