BBC News - Disabled sailor Geoff Holt MBE barred from train

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Wyvern

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I'm finding this thread quite interesting. I asked what the difference was between a wheelchair and a scooter on here sometime last year and never got a straight answer. In fact some posts were quite dismissive.

When my time comes to use a wheelchair I think I'll ask for a certificate from the manufacturer (which as I have learnt on this thread should include the weight)

Its a bit of a moot point at Belper as, although there are ramps to both platforms, the step up to the train itself is about a foot and I doubt if the train's ramps would be safe. I wouldn't want to do a Tony Aryan.
 
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trainsportuser

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Because the passenger would never make up information to cast himself in a better light would he? :roll:
Passengers can be arseholes just as much, if not more, than staff.

The TOC has not apologised for the incident (my bold).


As usual there is no effort taken by the media to ascertain the facts as it looks like they've rewritten his blog. Do you deny that it's plausible that the accuser is blowing all things out of proportion?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It's like Senator McCarthy writing about communism, ludicrously one sided yet people swallow it as truth because, well, pick your reason:

  • He's disabled and we all know the sun shines out of their ass
  • He has an MBE
  • Reinforcing stereotypes about poor TOCs
  • And their staff by extension

I was researching disabled access to transport facilities and came across this post in the process. (I am not disabled in case you are wondering). Although new to this forum I was amazed by this whole thread and some of the comments on it.

I think this post I have quoted particularly underlines the ignorance, stereo-typing and prejudice the Geoff Holt incident has exposed in some staff of the train companies. I am sure it is not restricted to just the train companies, and as others have posted elsewhere on this thread, there are good and bad in all aspects of all people in all walks of life.

However comments like "He's disabled and we all know the sun shines out of their ass". really do expose the stereo-typing and subsequent prejudice against disabled people that is apparently still widespread. I suspect the offending guard in question was suffering from the same level of ignorance and attitude as the person that has made that comment.

If nothing else comes from this incident hopefully it will make this kind of prejudice and ignorance less common with some additional education and disability awareness training that is clearly needed, not just in the train companies but in schools and to the public in general.

I wasn't at the incident to verify or not whether Geoff Holt's version was correct or not but if you take a severely physically disabled guy in a wheelchair who has apparently spent most of his life working hard for the benefit of others less fortunate and indeed more fortunate than himself, and a person that inspires millions of able and disabled people through his efforts and example.

This same person who apparently encountered a guard that effectively abused and physically assaulted him and apparently had an attitude that, to put it bluntly, personally and professionally stinks, and had that witnessed by many independent people and the whole thing was recorded on CCTV I know who my money would be on.

Why so much suspicion, antagonism and prejudice against a disabled passenger/person and defense of a guard who clearly, and the evidence proves, is in the wrong?

Debate is of course good and I have no doubt that many guards are equally abused and intimidated by members of the public but that doesn't make it right to try and de-edify someone who is disabled and in particular one who has had the courage to speak up and challenge the discrimination.

There you go that is my little rant about some of the stereo-types and prejudices by some of the posters on this thread. However, I remain a big advocate of train travel generally...
 

Ferret

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Transportuser - the issue as ever is that a minority can give the rest a bad name. And that's the case on both sides....
 

ANorthernGuard

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Transportuser - as said the minority can give the Majority a bad name...remember Tonyaryan he tried to "play" to the press but when the truth came out he was found out to be banned from most Cabs in his local area and tried to get numerous people sacked, now in this case it certainly looks like the Guard was bang out of order and should be disciplined but that is up to his employers and certainly not anyone on here.
 

asylumxl

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trainsportuser - You slam people for saying things which you show ignorance and prejudice, yet your post is based on what?

Why do you feel that people are out to get disabled people? Because they do not automatically support the disabled person? Surely that's called positive discrimination which in itself is a form of prejudice?

And where did you get the information that the guard was guilty?

I must have missed something. Have you ever considered that it could in fact be both parties in the wrong and not just the one?
 

SS4

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I was researching disabled access to transport facilities and came across this post in the process. (I am not disabled in case you are wondering). Although new to this forum I was amazed by this whole thread and some of the comments on it.

I think this post I have quoted particularly underlines the ignorance, stereo-typing and prejudice the Geoff Holt incident has exposed in some staff of the train companies. I am sure it is not restricted to just the train companies, and as others have posted elsewhere on this thread, there are good and bad in all aspects of all people in all walks of life.

However comments like "He's disabled and we all know the sun shines out of their ass". really do expose the stereo-typing and subsequent prejudice against disabled people that is apparently still widespread. I suspect the offending guard in question was suffering from the same level of ignorance and attitude as the person that has made that comment.

If nothing else comes from this incident hopefully it will make this kind of prejudice and ignorance less common with some additional education and disability awareness training that is clearly needed, not just in the train companies but in schools and to the public in general.

I wasn't at the incident to verify or not whether Geoff Holt's version was correct or not but if you take a severely physically disabled guy in a wheelchair who has apparently spent most of his life working hard for the benefit of others less fortunate and indeed more fortunate than himself, and a person that inspires millions of able and disabled people through his efforts and example.

This same person who apparently encountered a guard that effectively abused and physically assaulted him and apparently had an attitude that, to put it bluntly, personally and professionally stinks, and had that witnessed by many independent people and the whole thing was recorded on CCTV I know who my money would be on.

Why so much suspicion, antagonism and prejudice against a disabled passenger/person and defense of a guard who clearly, and the evidence proves, is in the wrong?

Debate is of course good and I have no doubt that many guards are equally abused and intimidated by members of the public but that doesn't make it right to try and de-edify someone who is disabled and in particular one who has had the courage to speak up and challenge the discrimination.

There you go that is my little rant about some of the stereo-types and prejudices by some of the posters on this thread. However, I remain a big advocate of train travel generally...

I'm talking about media attitudes which is clear(ish) from my post. I'd be happy if you were to point me to an occasion where a disabled person was in the wrong (everything is black and white in the news - usually black). Naturally those pretending to be disabled but are not do not count
I'm not staff by the way
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
E is for Evidence, neither of us have any but you seem more than willing to defend this guy based on his word and only his word
 

junglejames

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I was researching disabled access to transport facilities and came across this post in the process. (I am not disabled in case you are wondering). Although new to this forum I was amazed by this whole thread and some of the comments on it.

I think this post I have quoted particularly underlines the ignorance, stereo-typing and prejudice the Geoff Holt incident has exposed in some staff of the train companies. I am sure it is not restricted to just the train companies, and as others have posted elsewhere on this thread, there are good and bad in all aspects of all people in all walks of life.

However comments like "He's disabled and we all know the sun shines out of their ass". really do expose the stereo-typing and subsequent prejudice against disabled people that is apparently still widespread. I suspect the offending guard in question was suffering from the same level of ignorance and attitude as the person that has made that comment.

If nothing else comes from this incident hopefully it will make this kind of prejudice and ignorance less common with some additional education and disability awareness training that is clearly needed, not just in the train companies but in schools and to the public in general.

I wasn't at the incident to verify or not whether Geoff Holt's version was correct or not but if you take a severely physically disabled guy in a wheelchair who has apparently spent most of his life working hard for the benefit of others less fortunate and indeed more fortunate than himself, and a person that inspires millions of able and disabled people through his efforts and example.

This same person who apparently encountered a guard that effectively abused and physically assaulted him and apparently had an attitude that, to put it bluntly, personally and professionally stinks, and had that witnessed by many independent people and the whole thing was recorded on CCTV I know who my money would be on.

Why so much suspicion, antagonism and prejudice against a disabled passenger/person and defense of a guard who clearly, and the evidence proves, is in the wrong?

Debate is of course good and I have no doubt that many guards are equally abused and intimidated by members of the public but that doesn't make it right to try and de-edify someone who is disabled and in particular one who has had the courage to speak up and challenge the discrimination.

There you go that is my little rant about some of the stereo-types and prejudices by some of the posters on this thread. However, I remain a big advocate of train travel generally...

Nobody is defending the guard. They are purely saying that its impossible to know who is in the right and who is in the wrong. The post you quoted was just pointing that out, and showing how you cant just go by what is written in the press.
You however have gone straight in and called the guard guilty, with zero evidence. So, why so much suspicion against a guard who, to be fair, could be innocent or guilty? Youve had a go at some on here, for supposedly doing something you yourself have done.

Read the passengers' blog. That will tell you he is exagerating his story. As mentioned, the words he uses are OTT.
 

O L Leigh

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The suggestion seems to be that there is inherent and institutionalised discrimination against the disabled on the railways. But this is based on two assumptions. 1) Geoff Holt is somehow a paragon of virtue, and 2) the guard acted unreasonably in dealing with Mr Holt. The problem is that neither of these things are proven and that people can be good, bad or indifferent no matter what their situation or job title.

I can understand Mr Holt's frustrations at being unable to use the train service, but what we don't know is whether or not these frustrations and his subsequent outbursts are justified. Traincrew have a responsibility for the safety of ALL rail users no matter what their age, health and level of mobility. If Mr Holt has arrived at a station in a mobility device that is prohibited for travel by rail or is considered to be of a classification that is prohibited then unfortunately for him the guard has acted correctly. What is not known for certain is whether or not this exchange degenerated into a slanging match and whether or not Mr Holt attempted to forcefully assert himself.

SWT are right to apologise for the incident on the grounds of the upset and frustration caused, but at this stage they only need apologise for that. They are also right to investigate the incident to ensure that access policies have been correctly applied. However, it may turn out to be that SWT and it's staff acted correctly in the circumstance and that Mr Holt is on a hiding to nothing.

The problem, as I alluded above, is that traincrew have a responsibility for the safety of everyone. Some mobility devices are simply too large, too heavy and not sufficiently manouverable to be permitted onto rail services because they pose a hazard to the user as well as to the other passengers and staff. Electric wheelchairs are generally permitted because they can turn in their own length where mobility scooters are not because they cannot be turned in the space available. Island Line trains are especially prone to this problem due to the limited space inside the saloons on account of them being redundant tube stock from London Underground and getting really very old.

It could be argued that what Mr Holt is doing is attempting to shine a light onto a problem, and there is perhaps some mileage in that. However, what it does NOT prove is that there is a deep-seated discrimination. The travel wishes of disabled passengers are accommodated wherever possible and, where it is not possible to safely convey people by train, alternative arrangements will be made available at not additional cost.

Trainsportuser: I'm afraid that you've fallen into your own trap. You have accused people here of making judgements and assumptions about Mr Holt, but clearly you have jumped to conclusions about the train guard based solely on Mr Holt's account. It is right to question an account that is clearly partisan and far from impartial and to wonder about the reliability of the person reporting it. We have already seen recently how the accounts given by two apparently "good" people turned out to have been false (search for "tonyaryan" and Ian Falletto if you wish). It may be that Mr Holt turns out to be purer than the driven snow, but lets just wait and see shall we...? Don't be so quick to pronounce judgement on the guard.

O L Leigh
 

sevenhills

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Some mobility devices are simply too large, too heavy and not sufficiently manouverable to be permitted onto rail services because they pose a hazard to the user as well as to the other passengers and staff. Electric wheelchairs are generally permitted because they can turn in their own length where mobility scooters are not because they cannot be turned in the space available.

O L Leigh

I guess the 2010 equallity act would mean that these people should be able ring in advance and be provided with a suitable taxi. That will cost a lot of money if it is these mobility scooters you mention. Where is a link for this passengers blog that was mentioned earlier?
 

Username

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I guess the 2010 equallity act would mean that these people should be able ring in advance and be provided with a suitable taxi. That will cost a lot of money if it is these mobility scooters you mention. Where is a link for this passengers blog that was mentioned earlier?

During a House of Commons debate on 30th November 2010, Mike Wood (Batley and Spen)(Lab) asked about the provision for transporting mobility scooters and their users on public transport.

The following extract is from the answer given by Norman Baker, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport.

"First, the legislation governing the accessibility of public transport does not cover the carriage of mobility scooters on public transport vehicles. Part 12 of the Equality Act 2010, which incorporates part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, sets out the provisions for accessible public transport. I should point out that since mobility scooters are primarily designed for outdoor use by people who can walk only short distances, and therefore as an alternative to public transport, they are quite intentionally not covered by the provisions.

Regulations that have already been made under the provisions of the original DDA require space to be provided on buses, coaches and trains for a "reference wheelchair" but are silent on the carriage of mobility scooters, as they are in the case of taxis. Scooters continue to come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and evidence suggests that some modern mobility scooters are in fact getting taller and heavier. As a result, many models are frankly unsuitable for carriage on many forms of public transport, including in taxis.
"


It would appear from this, that mobility scooters were (quite deliberately) not covered by the Equality Act 2010.


If anyone is interested, the full question and reply can be found here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm101130/debtext/101130-0004.htm
 

sevenhills

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I should point out that since mobility scooters are primarily designed for outdoor use by people who can walk only short distances, and therefore as an alternative to public transport, they are quite intentionally not covered by the provisions.

/debtext/101130-0004.htm[/url]

I transport wheelchair users in my work, and even to me the difference between mobility scooters and wheelchairs is quite small.
Although it may make sense for the large type. Perhaps its just the parking at train stations that will become more of an issue?
 

trainsportuser

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Trainsportuser: I'm afraid that you've fallen into your own trap. You have accused people here of making judgements and assumptions about Mr Holt, but clearly you have jumped to conclusions about the train guard based solely on Mr Holt's account. It is right to question an account that is clearly partisan and far from impartial and to wonder about the reliability of the person reporting it. We have already seen recently how the accounts given by two apparently "good" people turned out to have been false (search for "tonyaryan" and Ian Falletto if you wish). It may be that Mr Holt turns out to be purer than the driven snow, but lets just wait and see shall we...? Don't be so quick to pronounce judgement on the guard.

O L Leigh
People here have made judgments, accusations and assumptions about Mr Holt. They have also made them about the guard and attempted to suggest he may have a possible defense for his actions. In fact notably absent from any source is any alternative version. I haven't seen the guard nor SWT tend one yet though nor have they refuted Mr Holt's version of events and indeed apparently agreed with him.

I have made judgments of both parties but it is based on what it is possible to acquire from information readily available on the web. Including the information from SW trains Customer Services Director.

My observations were not based solely on an account by Mr Holt as you suggest so I have not jumped to conclusions.

SWT have as a result already introduced a new training policy. To his credit Geoff Holt has asked that the guard not be prosecuted that surely shows he is not being vindictive about this and is in fact being constructive in nature. He is offering to help improve the lot for disabled people and help SWT with the disability policies.

All the evidence available on the web is that the version of events by Geoff Holt is correct and that SWT are doing something about it. There appears to be a general agreement and acceptance by everyone involved including SWT of what actually happened and with CCTV evidence to back it up and that (short of a full blown trial by jury) surely indicates that the guard is wrong and Geoff Holt has quite rightly raised the issue and is in fact dealing with it in a very restrained way.

A quick Google of "geoff holt train" will find you all the information you require. The media have a legal obligation to repeat accurately if they are quoting statements from people including SWT and Geoff Holt.

I do agree that the guard should be allowed to give his side of the story but from what I have read so far it is not likely to be a good side to present.
 

jon0844

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Where are you getting all this evidence? Besides the same story going around the net and more and more sites just repeating and rewording the same story.

So far SWT has only said that it was outraged by what it has been told happened - but clearly hasn't had time to verify the facts.

They've taken what they've been told as true, until proven otherwise. From a PR point of view, what else were they supposed to do? However, I'm sure that beyond the carefully worded statement (which people have misinterpreted) they're keeping an open mind. They have to - they have a duty of care to their staff, as well as wanting to ensure good customer service and complying with the required regulations.
 

O L Leigh

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People here have made judgments, accusations and assumptions about Mr Holt. They have also made them about the guard and attempted to suggest he may have a possible defense for his actions. In fact notably absent from any source is any alternative version. I haven't seen the guard nor SWT tend one yet though nor have they refuted Mr Holt's version of events and indeed apparently agreed with him.

Yes, and I have already explained the reasons behind SWT's apology. This is not an admission of liability but an apology for the upset and inconvenience.

As for the guard making a public statement, unfortunately railstaff are not permitted to do so by a clause in their contract of employment. The guard will have been asked to submit a report to his manager giving his version of events and that will form part of the investigation.

I have made judgments of both parties but it is based on what it is possible to acquire from information readily available on the web. Including the information from SW trains Customer Services Director.

My observations were not based solely on an account by Mr Holt as you suggest so I have not jumped to conclusions.

Then perhaps for the edification of the rest of the community here you might be inclined to post some links to these other sources.

SWT have as a result already introduced a new training policy.

Have they...? That's quick!! When did this incident occur?

Luckily we have some SWT staff on this forum who can confirm or deny this claim.

To his credit Geoff Holt has asked that the guard not be prosecuted that surely shows he is not being vindictive about this and is in fact being constructive in nature. He is offering to help improve the lot for disabled people and help SWT with the disability policies.

That seems closer to the truth.

Mind you, I wonder to what extent that this process might become an education for Mr Holt rather than SWT.

All the evidence available on the web is that the version of events by Geoff Holt is correct and that SWT are doing something about it. There appears to be a general agreement and acceptance by everyone involved including SWT of what actually happened and with CCTV evidence to back it up and that (short of a full blown trial by jury) surely indicates that the guard is wrong and Geoff Holt has quite rightly raised the issue and is in fact dealing with it in a very restrained way.

Unfortunately, "all the evidence available on the web" appears to comprise Mr Holt's partisan account of events, the media's reporting of it and various discussions (like this one), and SWT's standard apology for the upset and inconvenience together with it's promise to investigate. I can see no concensus as you suggest, nor any suggestion that the event was caught on CCTV. My own conclusion is that you are applying your own spin to what you have read.

The media have a legal obligation to repeat accurately if they are quoting statements from people including SWT and Geoff Holt.

Correct. But there is a world of difference between accurately reporting a person's or organisation's words when giving a quotation and accurately reporting an incident. At the moment nothing has been added to the event beyond Mr Holt's initial account, the media reporting of it and his subsequent meeting with SWT, none of which implies liability.

O L Leigh
 

Stigy

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Northern did the same over the "Tonyaryan" incident. It's called PR and "damage limitation" to the companies image.

The truth of it will never come out, as we will be very unlikely to hear the full story from both sides.
I agree. It may well be exactly as discribed, but I have seen a certain TOC jump the gun like this several times before, and at the end of the day, their staff appear to be not as important as the potential to harm their image.
 

Username

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I transport wheelchair users in my work, and even to me the difference between mobility scooters and wheelchairs is quite small.
Although it may make sense for the large type. Perhaps its just the parking at train stations that will become more of an issue?

Whilst the differences to you may seem quite small, they do have significant impact.

Mobility scooters have a single motor to drive the wheels whilst electric wheelchairs have two (one for each drive wheel). This results in a significantly smaller turning radius for an electric wheelchair.
As has been stated previously, one of the main problems in accommodating scooters is their lack of maneuverability when being taken on or off trains. Each TOC sets it's own maximum limit for turning radius for the acceptance of scooters.

Another difference is that wheelchair users may remain in the wheelchair whilst it is conveyed on another form of transport (bus, train, taxi). Mobility scooter users are not permitted to remain on the scooter whilst in transit and must instead take a normal seat within the vehicle. It is usually required they be able to do so unaided.

Perhaps the biggest difference though is that public service providers are required to make compliance provisions for wheelchair users under the Equality Act 2010 but there is no such requirement for mobility scooters.
 

Ferret

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Have any of the 'witnesses' to this event come forward? I've not seen anything I must say. It would sure be interesting if they did...
 
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It has been said that there is little difference between electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters, sorry but that is NOT the case. Indeed they a much heavier and getting more so. Thei are now even being sold with not 3 but 4 and 5 wheels.

The Class 3 Scooters are allowed t use the highway alongside motor vehicles. Standard electric wheelchairs cover a certain size which allowed their inclusion in the original DDA regulations (now as illustarted above subsumed (and enhanced) under the Equality Act 2010).

There is no requirement to show a need to purchase a mobility scooter and for some it is a lifestyle choice, as in the case of the elderly lady who crached into me on a high street, trapping me against a wall and fracturing my skuull. Imagine my shocj at being hit and then surprise after panicking and attempting to drive off in forward, thus causing me firther injury, for her to dismount and literally run off.

For any train manager and general transport staff there needs to be a very clear distinction and trianing as to what is acceptable (ie wheelchairs) and what is not (scooters). Yes I hate the damned things. Even some supermarkets are alleviatiating the rising menace of the scooters by having their own scooters of the smaller and slower types available for users so they can leave their monstrosities outside.

I have the greatest sympathy for anyone who needs assistance and as a disable person myself I have never had anything but the utmost selfless assistance form rail staff who have a duty of care to all on board. I can foresee the kind of issue that the OP of this thread highlighted and here lies the greatest need for staff of the railways to be assisted by management and not hindered. Perhaps a small iconic type informaiton card for staff should detail what IS a wheelchair and therefore allowed onto the train and what is not (scooters) thus access to platforms be halted before any journey. RThat education should also be extended to the users of mobility scooters instead of the perception shown by some that their vehicle has the right of entry everywhere. That entry included the public building a firend of mine manages which saw a scooter attempt to enter a lif that was phusically designed for a wheelchair but was not wide enough for the scooter. The glass doors were not seen as an impedenment to the rider and £7000 worth of broken doors later the first thing the rider did was to complain about being covered in safet glass fragments. The same person has attempted entry to the same lift again.

So overall I have to say train staff have a lot to contend with and I as a passenger will always state that apart from a few experiences in my 50+ years of travelling I have major respect for thise that seek to ensure our safety and do so with good humour and patience. Whether the incident that starts this thread turns on interpretation or not it is in the TOCs remit to support their staff with intelligent back up and training that must include support when genuine errors are made.

C
 

richw

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There is no requirement to show a need to purchase a mobility scooter and for some it is a lifestyle choice, as in the case of the elderly lady who crached into me on a high street, trapping me against a wall and fracturing my skuull. Imagine my shocj at being hit and then surprise after panicking and attempting to drive off in forward, thus causing me firther injury, for her to dismount and literally run off.

Madge off of Benidorm springs to mind here!
 

Mutant Lemming

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Would the money spent on implementing the Equality Act be better spent on medical research ? Complying with the legislation is costing Billions of pounds - would that money not be better spent on medical research that may prevent, cure or adapt people with debilitating problems ?
 

sevenhills

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Would the money spent on implementing the Equality Act be better spent on medical research ? Complying with the legislation is costing Billions of pounds - would that money not be better spent on medical research that may prevent, cure or adapt people with debilitating problems ?

No

We as a society can afford to put nice flowers at 'some' stations, flowers in roundabouts, nice statues and art work. So in some areas the Equality act needs more enforcement, with a touch of common sense.
 

bignosemac

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Would the money spent on implementing the Equality Act be better spent on medical research ? Complying with the legislation is costing Billions of pounds - would that money not be better spent on medical research that may prevent, cure or adapt people with debilitating problems ?

Medical research won't prevent the accidents that leave people such as Geoff Holt paralysed. Some debilitating conditions may never be 'cured' no matter how much money is thrown at research. As for 'adapting' people, what do you mean? Like Robocop or Steve Austin?

No. The money should be spent on adapting the public services to provide greater access. It's not just the disabled that benefit from better access to trains and stations.
 

w0033944

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Would the money spent on implementing the Equality Act be better spent on medical research ? Complying with the legislation is costing Billions of pounds - would that money not be better spent on medical research that may prevent, cure or adapt people with debilitating problems ?

Not every disability is "cureable" - mine certainly isn't - although as both a disabled person and as someone who trained as a research scientist in biomedical research, I'd love more money to be spent on research.
 

Flamingo

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I agree. It may well be exactly as discribed, but I have seen a certain TOC jump the gun like this several times before, and at the end of the day, their staff ARE not as important as the potential to harm their image.

There you go, fixed that for you! ;)
 

Ferret

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Madge off of Benidorm springs to mind here!

Seen it done! Somebody in a wheelchair smoking in the carriage, BTP came at Doncaster, got him off the train and he made a run for it! Still, I guess that's more Little Britain than Benidorm....!:)
 

AndrewP

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There are two issues here - one is the actual incident / issue which sparked this thread and the other is accessibility generally.

The first I can not comment on as I do not know enough facts - what I will say is that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and courtesy irrelevant of who they are, work for or their disabled status.

The second is that there is no such thing as 'a' disabled person; the range of disabilities and their requirements is endless and can be confilicting e.g. the dropped kerbs so useful for wheelchair users is a nightmare for those with sight problems. The other thing is that our railways were built predominantly when disabled people did not figure in the general consciousness hence the difficulties and cost of making the railway accessible.

The fact is that we will never have a railway or any other infrastructure which will work for everyone but we need to have one which satisfies most people most of the time - including the disabled.

Finally there are really only two types of people in the world - good and bad - and that is it!!!!
 

jon0844

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Too many people assuming a disabled person must be in a wheelchair. End of.

That's probably why we've got ticket machines and now some cash machines that have the card slot/pin pad etc really low down - so anyone who has, say, a bad back will struggle to use them, if not find them impossible to use. If you complain, you'll be told that they have to be accessible and that you're being selfish - totally forgetting that they aren't properly accessible if other people, which don't fit their 'profile' can't use them!
 

Clip

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Ok time to try and put this one to bed a little bit - It appears that Geoff Holt is going to work with SWT with regards to training aspects with their staff which can only be a good outcome.

Though again this is written by him on his website http://geoffholt.com/2012/04/south-west-trains-disability-discrimination-shame/

but it appears that the guard did mistake what he was using and thus probably then the arguement occured.

But lets hope this can be put to be now really as they appear to have come to a conclusion and thus so should we.
 
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Would the money spent on implementing the Equality Act be better spent on medical research ? Complying with the legislation is costing Billions of pounds - would that money not be better spent on medical research that may prevent, cure or adapt people with debilitating problems ?

Hmmm interesting if flawed point.

You and we have NO idea of just how much the Equality Act 2010 costs. There may be costs involved in delivering what is based entirely on a streamlined verison of many different equality issues not just Disability, but Gender, Race, Age, Sexuality, Beliefs and Creed etc etc. Pull out of the whole lilst just what is covered and if you can find a blanced all in cost well I will wait to hear form you.

The simpple fact is that we adopted both our own and European Legislation to build a comunity that should be fair with access to all to enjoy the benefits of what is a pretty good place to live in a flawed world.

In terms of using the so called Billions to find cures etal - we cannot cure the common cold and as has been said many conditions come on late in life and are by their nature varied in type and more importantly impact. I was a very fit and healthy person enjoying freedom to move around enemcumbered with illness or disablement until at the age of 50 a huge heart attack brought on by pneumonia and not heart disease left me permanently disabed which restricted mobility and being registered blind. Nothing that will be invented or discovered will change the impact of what has occurred but believe me when I say that you have to experience the support and empowerment that you get in this country that most of the rest of the world's population cannot access or enjoy the fruits of a system built at a cst that we as a nation should be proud of and rest easy that we actually have it.

There is no price that can be put on any aspect of Equality of opportunity and to enjoy the fruits of what is, despite what some may think, a caring society.

A couple of quotes which for me say all I need:

Mahatma Ghandi who said, "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."

Churchill said that you measure the degree of civilisation of a society by how it treats its weakest members.

Somewhat humbling and certainly whatever is spent in support of what many just take for granted is money well spent.

I acept that you feel that there is some technological or medical solution to disabillity but there is not - we are not at the Star Trek level of solutions - that is 3 centuries away. Until then accept that things are as good as they are bit can get better and, should you ever need assistance and support that is given to ensure a fair playing feld for all then thank whatever deity you may pray to that it will still be there.

In a railway context

To all the railway staff here and especially those that I meet in the course of both getting to and sustaining my work - you make my life normal by just doing what you do! Verbal medals all round.

C
 

NY Yankee

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I didn't want to start a new thread, and the article was relevant to this thread:

Monday 02 April 2012

As No Go Britain brings together the stories of disabled people on the UK's buses and trains, the director of campaign group Transport for All explains how you can help the push for change.

The heading of this piece was the motto of the Disabled People's Direct Action Network's (DAN) "We Will Ride" campaign, which almost 20 years ago saw disabled activists chain themselves to inaccessible buses and trains.

Their passion and activism directly resulted in changes and improvements to London's transport network, writes Faryal Velmi.

The buses we see on our roads today, with technological advances like wheelchair ramps and audio-visual information for example are a testimony to the struggle of generations of accessible transport campaigners like those above.

Transport for All (TfA) is proud to stand in this tradition as we continue to campaign and lobby for the right of all disabled and older people to travel with the same freedom and choice as everyone else.

And there is certainly much more to win; with the No Go Britain investigation shining a huge media spotlight on the everyday transport problems disabled people still face as we try to live our lives.

Transport for All's own advice and advocacy helpline takes a wide range of calls from disabled people and older who are fed up with being constantly let down by the way transport services are planned and run.

Mohammed Mohsan Ali is a visually impaired activist and a TfA trustee. He has been at the sharp end of the Transport for London (TfL) decision to axe staff positions from the London Underground.

He recalls a recent incident: "Over the last 18-20 months, the availability of staff assistance has got so bad, that I'm not able to get help from a member of staff 70-90 per cent of the time I travel".

"My worst experience ironically happened when I was travelling back from the Transport for All demonstration outside City Hall on 20 March. I walked down to London Bridge station and asked for assistance from a member of a staff. He then assisted me down to the platform to get me onto the train to West Ham, and phoned West Ham to let them know I was coming and ask them to meet me off the train".

"When I arrived there, there was no member of staff to give assistance. A stranger ended up assisting me, however as he had no experience of walking with a VI person I was injured as he tried."

"I have big concerns as the Olympics and Paralympics are a few months away".

Unfortunately Mohammed's experiences around the tube are increasingly becoming common place. Staff assistance is an important factor when it comes to accessibility - however recently on the tube and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) that lack of assistance is becoming a worrying trend. At worst it can lead to disabled people losing confidence to travel independently - and so any measure to cut staffing levels on Tube, DLR and Rail stations must be opposed.

TfA also believes that an important part of transforming accessible travel is putting forward our aspirations of what changes we would like to see. In the run up to the mayoral and London Assembly elections in London, we have produced a manifesto for a world class accessible transport network that describes how we would like buses, tubes, door to door services amongst other transport services transformed and improved.

It has never been a better time to actively use our experiences to influence politicians, transport providers and commissioners.

Faryal Velmi is director of Transport for All.

Some of the things you can do:
• Invite your local MP/councillor/local authority head on a trip with you. This is so people in power can see for themselves the issues disabled people have when travelling.
• In London people can do the same with their local London Assembly candidates and present them with Transport for All's accessible transport manifesto. You can download the manifesto here.
• Record your journeys and upload them to youtube.com/nogobritain.
• Get in touch with the A2B for all campaign and see whether you have a legal case against a transport provider if you are constantly being let down.
• Contact your local paper and ask them to write about any barriers you face using local transport. For example, what problems do you face on local buses, or is there a local station which presents access issues?
• Keep complaining! If we don't register our complaints when things go wrong, transport providers have no idea about when services are not working.
• Organise your own flashmob. A lively peaceful static protest is a great way of bringing attention to a particular transport issue - grabbing media and general public attention on the way.
• TfA's advocacy service can help you. Tel: 0207 737 2339. Email: [email protected]

http://www.channel4.com/news/to-boldly-go-where-everyone-else-has-gone-before

I'm very sympathetic to the disabled. However, the unfortunate reality is that the system was built in 1863. Retrofitting the entire system for disabled access is impossible. The Underground should simply focus on making major hubs and transfer points accessible. All new stations should be accessible. I'm assuming the DLR and Crossrail are 100% compliant.
 
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