BBC News - Disabled sailor Geoff Holt MBE barred from train

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SS4

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yet for every 1 compliment sent to most companies (non railway) there are 10 complaints. People complain at anything yet rarely send in letters of praise.

Definitely. I suspect it's partially because members of the public whom staff have helped (especially beyond what's necessary) may suspect that staff could get into trouble for helping them.
I'd suggest the other part is because a good service is the perceived norm and most extra touches would be perceived as part of the expected service.
 
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Flamingo

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I'd suggest the other part is because a good service is the perceived norm and most extra touches would be perceived as part of the expected service.

Which can then lead to "Well the last Guard let me sit in First Class for free" type discussions, unfortunately. Sometimes doing people a favour is only making a rod for your own back - no good deed goes unpunished! :lol:
 

DownSouth

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Rail companies and Network rail bend over backwards to help anyone with disabilities, sometimes mistakes happen, misinterpretations of rules and the like, Northern certainly do their best (regardless of what some people may think) making sure a disabled passenger is treated with respect and is helped when required, there is no such thing as "Hidden Agendas, from both sides ...
If that were true, how do you explain that we have completed over 10,000 assistances over the last year where I work, and have had issues in only 0.15% of them? And that 0.15% are not all customer complaints, these include issues that staff have raised (such as poor information passed) where no inconvenience has been caused to the customer.
Discrimination against the differently abled is endemic in society but largely unseen below the surface by those who do not experience such discrimination. That people with different abilities are still treated as being recipients of special courtesies who should be grateful for being patronised and inconvenienced rather than making improved accessibility normal is just one sign of this.

The key thing with dismantling discrimination is bringing it into the light and naming it, even if revealing that truth can be confronting and uncomfortable for people who realise for the first time that they, as a "normal" [sic] person, are part of the discrimination problem. There are probably a number of organisations who would be happy to provide the rail service providers with counselling and staff training on adopting inclusive attitudes towards people who are different in all areas from customer-facing service to recruitment. There are probably a number of groups who would do it for free because of the benefits to wider society of educating industry about their discrimination.
 

KA4C

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It's curious, you are in fact doing the exact thing you are telling others off for doing - you assume that the passenger in this case must be right and is obviously telling the truth in his blog, and clearly the guard must have been in the wrong.
It's all very well trotting out the usual line that everyone here says staff can never be wrong (yawn), but if you actually bother to get off your high horse and read the responses from everyone, rather than the select few that conform to your stereotype, you'll see plenty are refraining from blaming either side until they know the full story.
You're just as bad as those you criticise.

Here's an idea for you though - why don't you try not being such a hypocrite and actually keeping an open mind about the story?
Since that's somewhat unlikely, you could just tell us that we all think rail staff can never be wrong, say you never liked the forum in the first place and that you're leaving and then log out feeling smug about how you've 'won'.



It's pretty unlikely we'll ever hear the full story of this incident, and personally, I think either could have been in the wrong, or both of them.

Well said, makes a change from some of the anti rail staff rhetoric that can be found in some quarters on here

Those of us in the job who, from time to time, deal with this kind of thing understand that for every genuine complaint about staff, there are two that have been engineered, either by the customer exaggerating the story or by the customer going out and intentionally creating the situation because they have a particular axe to grind, each situation has to be investigated before conclusions are reached. The investigation cannot be done on a railway forum
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Not to mention sometimes down-right lying!

Recently had a complaint that we never stopped at a station, during the morning rush hour. Clearly the 100 odd people who got on and off were a figment of my imagination. Regardless though, OTMR downloaded and report required.

Apparently the person would probably recieve an apology and maybe some vouchers despite the fact we all know the incident never occured. All in the name of PR. What a joke. (BTW, I don't know what happened as I haven't heard anything else about it).

Quite, I am reminded of a recent incident where a passenger complained that a driver had failed to stop his train at an un-staffed halt on a branch line. Had that made the Daily Mail, no doubt the driver would have been hung out to dry by some on here

However a simply perusal of the FFCCTV on the unit showed the train stop at the station and restart. There were no passengers on the platform, the passenger had in fact, missed the train
 

jopsuk

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He's updated his blog post:
South West Trains



Thank you for the hundreds of messages of support I have received from around the world.



I have decided to take down my blog post. On Saturday 31st March, I experienced what, in my mind was a completely unacceptable act of discrimination and an act of common assault. That feeling of outrage has not gone away. Through the internet and the media, my story has caused an outcry from able-bodied and disabled people alike, and rightly so.



Since then, SWT have suspended the guard concerned and started their own internal investigation. I have spoken with senior management at SWT and I have a meeting arranged with them tomorrow morning (Wednesday 4th). They have apologised sincerely.



British Transport Police have logged my report of assault and await my decision as to whether to proceed on a charge of common assault. By all accounts, from the CCTV evidence, the injury to my leg and from statements already taken, there is considerable weight to my allegations.



However, I am mindful of how I felt on Saturday when I was treated so unfairly and would not wish those feelings on another person. I am not intent on revenge, all I want is for lessons to be learned so others do not experience what I went through. I believe the guard was making an assumption that I was using a Mobility Scooter (banned on SWT) – unfortunately his customer service skills failed him at this point and the rest was a catalogue of errors on his part. Does that make him a bad individual as I claimed? It is how I felt at the time and I am still deeply hurt by the discrimination shown towards me. But does that justify the full weight of the law on this individual when it is SWT who need to demonstrate their commitment to genuinely inclusive train travel for all.



There will be those who think the only way to stop future examples of this kind of horror sorry is to take the individual to Court. As yet I’m undecided, but I am conscious of my responsibility. I will decide what to do after meeting with SWT tomorrow.




Particular thanks to the media for running this story and highlighting the challenges we disabled people face every day. Thank you again to everyone for your support. It has really helped me these past 24 hours.
 

asylumxl

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Being in a wheelchair does not automatically mean you're not an a-hole...

I think what's posted above says it all. He may well have been treated badly, but this update is him trying to cover his arse after making some false claims that he knows will come back to bite him.
 

Clip

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Being in a wheelchair does not automatically mean you're not an a-hole...

I think what's posted above says it all. He may well have been treated badly, but this update is him trying to cover his arse after making some false claims that he knows will come back to bite him.

I never read his blog post but it will be cached somewhere with everything he has written..
 

khib70

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It's curious, you are in fact doing the exact thing you are telling others off for doing - you assume that the passenger in this case must be right and is obviously telling the truth in his blog, and clearly the guard must have been in the wrong.
It's all very well trotting out the usual line that everyone here says staff can never be wrong (yawn), but if you actually bother to get off your high horse and read the responses from everyone, rather than the select few that conform to your stereotype, you'll see plenty are refraining from blaming either side until they know the full story.
You're just as bad as those you criticise.

Here's an idea for you though - why don't you try not being such a hypocrite and actually keeping an open mind about the story?
Since that's somewhat unlikely, you could just tell us that we all think rail staff can never be wrong, say you never liked the forum in the first place and that you're leaving and then log out feeling smug about how you've 'won'.



It's pretty unlikely we'll ever hear the full story of this incident, and personally, I think either could have been in the wrong, or both of them.
I'm sure you feel better for getting that off your chest.

However, I would point out that I never at any point assumed that the passenger was totally in the right, and that I also made a point of saying that the vast majority of rail staff provide excellent service to passengers.

The assumptions were all being made by others, including at least one pretty distasteful remark about disabled people. Of course it's entirely possible that the passenger is making it all up because of some bizarre hidden agenda against TOC's or rail staff. But there are a group of people on there who come to that conclusion straight off the bat in every case.

There are a majority who don't do that, clearly. But for example, the quoting of the guys blog update with a sneering comment about him "covering his a*** merely reinforces my point.

And I'm not going to go in the huff and log off, any more than I'm going to take any other lessons in how to behave from you.
 

ANorthernGuard

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I don't care if you are Disabled, able bodied, Black, White Purple with white spots, Gay, Straight, Young or old


Treat me with respect and you get it back in spades

If you act like an a**hole expect to get treated like one (but with the utmost professionalism of course)

bottom line

Anyone can be an A**hole
 

Clip

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There are a majority who don't do that, clearly. But for example, the quoting of the guys blog update with a sneering comment about him "covering his a*** merely reinforces my point.

.

As I said I havent read his blog BUT why delete a whole blog post if you had nothing to hide? Seems a bit daft to me and would indeed keep the fuill story available to all
 

Greenback

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It seems as if Mr Holt has at the very least had time to reflect on what he put in his blog, and the effect it may have had on others.

It seems he has recognised the likelihood that the guard mistook his wheelchair for a mobility scooter. As we have seen in previous incidents, situations can degenerate quickly in the heat of the moment, leading to a total breakdown in communication, and, usually, a lot of shouting and swearing.

It may be that the blog has been taken down because he has something to hide. I don't know. But I am glad that he has now realised that the things that he wrote were done when he was in an emotional state, and will have an impact on others. This should be a lesson to others not to tweet or blog when angry, but to wait until emotions have cooled down.
 

185

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Barclay said:
NewsBiscuit's take:

Isle of wight residents were gripped with panic yesterday after some kind of ‘slow-magic-sitting-demon’ invaded from the mainland and attempted to board a train.

The electrified man-machine contraption was first spotted at ryde pier ticket desk, where it bought a travel pass, apparently oblivious to the fear and chaos it was causing.

A quick-witted conductor, who has been praised as a local hero, leapt in and tried to stop the ‘humming behemoth’, first by denying access to the loading ramp, and later by aiming for its legs with a branch in order to weaken it.

Many eye witnesses said they thought it was davros, creator of the daleks, from the popular weekly tv show starring william hartnell, and were running around in panic looking for a sofa to hide behind.

The modest conductor, who declined to give his name, said that he only did what he was trained to do in these situations, but admitted his own fear of the wheeled creature. ‘quite frankly, it was the scariest thing i’ve seen since 1997, when a black man got off the ferry at yarmouth.’


lol :)
 

richw

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It seems he has recognised the likelihood that the guard mistook his wheelchair for a mobility scooter.

My thoughts too, If you lined me up 10 electric wheelchairs, and 10 mobility scooters, and asked me which are which, I dont think i'd be able to identify correctly,
 

jopsuk

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if it looks like a chair and has a small joystick at the end of am arm rest, it's an electric wheelchair. If it has bike style handlebars and foot rest between the front and back wheels, it's a mobility scooter. Not exactly rocket science.
 

ANorthernGuard

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if it looks like a chair and has a small joystick at the end of am arm rest, it's an electric wheelchair. If it has bike style handlebars and foot rest between the front and back wheels, it's a mobility scooter. Not exactly rocket science.
But if a scooter can be folded up (there are a few) they can also be allowed on! Rocket science maybe not but the rules are ambiguous to say the least


 

Tomonthetrain

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I don't care if you are Disabled, able bodied, Black, White Purple with white spots, Gay, Straight, Young or old


Treat me with respect and you get it back in spades

If you act like an a**hole expect to get treated like one (but with the utmost professionalism of course)

bottom line

Anyone can be an A**hole

Exactly!
 

richw

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if it looks like a chair and has a small joystick at the end of am arm rest, it's an electric wheelchair. If it has bike style handlebars and foot rest between the front and back wheels, it's a mobility scooter. Not exactly rocket science.

But a scooter has electric, wheels and a chair, so technically could also be electric wheel chair!
 

Captain Chaos

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I think the issue with electric scooters is their sheer size more than anything. Some of them are so huge they can take up an entire vestibule which of course could be a problem in the event of an emergency and the coach or train require evacuating and there is a huge immovable scooter in the way. I believe this may be way there are certain restrictions in place? I could be wrong though but then it has never been an issue for me really.

Electric wheelchairs are fine though.
 

SS4

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I think the issue with electric scooters is their sheer size more than anything. Some of them are so huge they can take up an entire vestibule which of course could be a problem in the event of an emergency and the coach or train require evacuating and there is a huge immovable scooter in the way. I believe this may be way there are certain restrictions in place? I could be wrong though but then it has never been an issue for me really.

Electric wheelchairs are fine though.

Yet ex-Soviet tanks double pushchairs are allowed on? <D
 

ANorthernGuard

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I think the issue with electric scooters is their sheer size more than anything. Some of them are so huge they can take up an entire vestibule which of course could be a problem in the event of an emergency and the coach or train require evacuating and there is a huge immovable scooter in the way. I believe this may be way there are certain restrictions in place? I could be wrong though but then it has never been an issue for me really.

Electric wheelchairs are fine though.

It used to be so easy.. If it looked like a wheelchair it was allowed if it looked like a scooter it wasn't. But with a lot of lightweight ones that fold up out on the market it starts to cloud things a bit.

 

D1009

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Wasn't there an incident a couple of years ago when a wheelchair/mobility scooter attempted to board a Tyne & Wear Metro with such speed it crashed through the doors on the opposite side of the train ending up with the occupant on the track ?
 

jopsuk

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It was a mobility scooter.

For those still having difficulty telling apart "scooters" from "wheelchairs", do take a look at the pictures on Geoff's site, there's plenty of him in his chair.
 

Yew

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Don't forget that as well as lightweight mobility scooters, some wheelchairs are pretty heavy these days. My uncle has no movement in his legs, and limited dexterity in his upper body. His wheelchair is probably bigger than some mobility scooters, and heavier. But he can't use a manual chair for any long distances as he doesn't have the strength or control
 

jopsuk

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indeed, and there is a limit for carriage on trains of 300kg combined person + wheelchair if you investigate this.
 

Chris125

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For anyone interested, thanks to a random twitter user this is the warning of the restriction thats been up for a while and ultimately caused the problem - http://yfrog.com/z/mnxsvjwj. Incidentally its all go on Island Line atm, one of the units had a small fire 'in the shoe gear area' this morning causing a 2hr delay while it was removed. High drama!

Chris
 

krisk

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"I can't recall the last time that I was so angry and upset I was physically shaking, emotion choking my voice, a sense of genuine rage."

"Violated and dehumanized"

He is very good at playing this to his advantage, so instead of being angry that a member of staff got it wrong and wouldn't let him board, we have him playing on his disability and using terminology that maybe a person who had been attacked or raped might find more suitable than a person whom was misinformed.

Why does it seem that so many complaints that go in are always blown out of all proportion, like when a person complains that they had to buy a new ticket as theirs wasn't valid, all of a sudden it's all about them and how they were shown up in a busy carriage etc

No one ever seems to side with the staff involved anymore. Let's me honest, could you really see any guard/TM behaving in a way that Mr Holt describes and certainly not intentionally cutting his leg with a ramp.
 
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