• If you're having issues logging in following the maintenance last weekend, please clear your browser cache and cookies - this should then allow you to login without issue (and will only need doing once)

BBC News - Disabled sailor Geoff Holt MBE barred from train

Status
Not open for further replies.

bignosemac

On Moderation
Joined
12 Oct 2009
Messages
4,991
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.

Nowhere in the article you quoted was there mention of retrofitting the entire system. The article highlighted the experience of someone who was visually impaired. Much can be done to improve access for people such as this and other disabled people who are not wheelchair users. Staff assistance can and should be improved. TfL should not just focus on the major hubs, it should ensure that access is as good as possible, for the widest range of people, across its entire network.

As others have said, disabled does not necessarily mean wheelchair user.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

313103

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2006
Messages
1,595
I think to satisfy Transport for all All buildings that are not disabled friendly should be closed with immediate effect, all tube and rail stations that do not have step free access to closed with immediate effect, all trains that do not have loud audible announcements, rolling visual displays and step free access to be withdrawn with immediate effect. That way we are all equal!
 

MCW

Member
Joined
30 Dec 2011
Messages
699
Location
Leicester UK
accessibility and disability, in my books are two things which don't get on well.

I have a very good understanding of Disabled life, I help to look after my 72 year old grandmother whom, 20 years ago was registered as 95% physically disabled. The Doctors said she shouldn't have been able to walk but for 18 years she managed it, doctors say it was sheer determination.

I have a mental disability myself and Have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (i don't mind saying on here none of you really know who I am so its safe ) and its something which you have to look at from both an ordinary person's perspective and from the Impaired/disabled person's perspective.

as a Disabled person I agree with All buses being made low floor, public transport all having ramps etc. same with buildings where possible. I also believe that Disabled persons should also be treated equally and fairly where applicable, after all we are all human and we all breath the same way. I am firmly against discrimination and professionals and people who have not been trained to understand disabled people (to re word that, I am against the companies who do not invest in staff training.)

as an ordinary person, just like everyone else (My impairments are not too severe and people regard me as Ordinary, unless they know me personally) I have to say that sometimes, Disabled people go a bit OTT sometimes when they describe their cases of discrimination or abuse. I Believe that everything should be accessible for the disabled etc but sometimes It just cannot be done, could be a number of reasons, predominantly listed buildings, and stuff involving smaller companies who may not have the financial backing to make such alterations (or indeed the room, as in the case of some shops).

In the Case of this olympian/paraplegic (forgotten the word now... d'oh!) I would have to see evidence firmly from both sides of the track (no pun intended) most people will jump on the band wagon and support the discrimination claim cause of the Beeb article. who knows, yes he might have been discriminating but perhaps the guard/conductor was not that awkward who knows? (and yes I know BTP got involved and all else too) I have been a victim of discrimination and so has my gran too, and I do my very best not to get angry and try to resolve a diplomatic solution. a lot of the time it is just a misunderstanding and not outright derogatory Discrimination, of which the latter is always portrayed by the media and I hate that for several reasons.

anyway I have said enough :p
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
26,789
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/

Just to reinforce your post, SWT have also put a short piece on the news section of their website - and they also provide a link to Geoff Holt's site for the details of what has been agreed. Suggesting that SWT are reasonably happy with what he is saying?

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/GeoffHoltMBE.aspx
 

MCW

Member
Joined
30 Dec 2011
Messages
699
Location
Leicester UK
Very pleased to hear about the training aspect a very good move which can only help to create progression.
 

313103

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2006
Messages
1,595
Right now that bit is out of the way, does anyone know if the Guard has been disciplined and what was his punnishment?
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
25,236
Location
UK
I doubt we'll be told. Nor do I think we should be told.

Geoff Holt and SWT obviously came to some sort of agreement, even if not official or binding - but the statements put on both sites seem to suggest that everyone went away happy. As long as the guard got some guidance, I see no need for any punishment unless CCTV evidence shows any sort of assault as originally suggested. As there may not have been CCTV, I'd guess everyone has marked this 'case closed'.
 

313103

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2006
Messages
1,595
The reason why i would like to know is that we have only had one side of this, and the fact that i have seen some rather disparaging comments from people on Geoff Holts Facebook group. Most wishing the Guard gets sacked and one calling him a douche.
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
25,236
Location
UK
I'd hope that SWT ignores the comments on his site, from people who weren't involved in any way.

You might be able to ask SWT if he's still employed by the firm (I doubt they'd refuse to answer that) but you probably wouldn't get much more detail. I suppose colleagues that know the guard might say more, unofficially.
 

jopsuk

Veteran Member
Joined
13 May 2008
Messages
12,696
The reason why i would like to know is that we have only had one side of this, and the fact that i have seen some rather disparaging comments from people on Geoff Holts Facebook group. Most wishing the Guard gets sacked and one calling him a douche.

I've seen far worse than that, but really, it is irrelvant- SWT are right not to comment further. If you really wish to find out, you (personally) might have better luck on the RMT jungle drums/chinese whispers, but it would be appropriate if you didn't make what you find out public.
 
Joined
9 Jun 2011
Messages
38
As a disabled person and someone with responsibilities in respect of accessibility management for quite a large portfolio of buildings and other properties the whole understanding of accessibility is one which is seriously misunderstood.

Legal requirements on new build public and commercial properties are very detailed within the Building Regulations that apply and will form the part of any planning consent. In domestic properties the regulations have also changed which includes the provision of wider "wheelchair" accessible" door opening for such access.

For older buildings there is an expectation that efforts be made to make adjustments that allow those with disabilities to access and make use of buildings in such a way that they are not denied opportunity to make use of the buildings for work, business and leisure purposes. That does not mean ripping the whole building apart or spending inordinate amounts of money on doing such adjustments. Thus the DDA Act 1995 (now superseded and included in the Equality Act 2010 determines that "reasonable adjustments" are to be applied. The laws do not specify a price or what must be done and in this when an employer is faced with making reasonable adjustments, the main issue is to ensure that they are relevant and workable without causing undue stress on the person for whom the adjustments may be made. They also have to be safe for others who may be affected by the adjustments.

It is an area fraught and as the old saying goes "The path to hell is paved with good intention"...

Whatever pressure and lobbying groups might like to see, they can demand the earth but all is enclosed with common sense, the building regulations (for new build and major renovations) and a very large slice of common sense.

So no the railways do not have to be rebuilt but renovations must be sensitive to the needs of an empowered customer base. Thus after a long time using Bath Station for my journeys into London it finally has a more accessible process to get disable persons both mobile and wheelchair bound, onto high level platforms quickly and easily with what I can only describe as sensible and elegant lifts to both platforms. They are not designed, like the rolling stock, for the purposes of the ****** mobility scooters that are becoming more prevalent and neither are they required to do so. I have already made my feelings clear about the scooters - used properly I can see their worth but for many they are a lifestyle choice. They are not like the old Blue Invalid Cars of old. Their place was taken by the specifically adapted standard cars that in many cases are modified for the use of the person who leases one through the Mobility Scheme. The scheme offers those in receipt of the high level Disability Living Allowance which offers a much incentivised way to stay mobile despite illness and disability. Mobility Scooters are also available through this process but are not exclusive to disabled people as determined by the receipt of DLA.

Very few buildings are "scooter friendly" so there is absolutely no way at present that railway carriages will be until the either the law or demand becomes too big a lever in the awarding of franchises and someone is willing to pick up the bill. In any case the "duty of care" to both those falling within the requirements of DDA and in the case of everyone the "duty of care under the relevant Health and Safety Regulations cannot be compromised either way. In this there is a defence for the Train manager that if he/she feels that they face a risk of failing in their "duty of care" to their passengers then there is one thing to bear in mind. Should something untoward happen the prosecution can start with the Train Manager before it starts to work its way up the chain of responsibility and therefore there would be a defence both in court of law and Employment Tribunal that a dynamic risk assessment by the train manager reveals a potential for harm to be caused to the other passengers by , say the action of someone trying to get a mobility scooter onto a train that could compromise an escape route then access must be denied and unless the manager is over-ruled that decision must be supported. It’s a tough world for those of us who are disabled and I have to be blunt more could be done to make things easier for us but whether it should be done is something that will, now more than ever, be under more scrutiny for reasonableness ad COBA (cost benefit analysis) diktat. Let loose there would be no end to the list of adjustments that could be determined. Simple one to think about - disable use of toilets - for the old style flush levers - right or left handed??? Well some wheelchair users might only be able to use say tier left hand and a right hand flush lever might prove impossible to use.... so electronic strike plates are the answer then, aren't they? Well no as I found out in one of my buildings with a user who could not physically use the strike plate. We found a solution but my point is that there is no single standard when making adjustments. One person's solution can easily be the next person's nightmare.

Sorry for the spiel but any discussion on disabled adjustments and "entitlement" (I am not going near RIGHTS" will always be convoluted and inevitably someone will shout "foul".

C
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top