Disabled passenger forced to take 'chaotic' detour at Bolton station

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Howardh, 4 Jul 2019.

  1. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/new...-39-chaotic-39-detour-bolton-railway-station/

    Basically - the lift was broken not allowing disabled access on to or off the platform, so the only course of action was to send him to Piccadilly via Wigan; using the one lift available therefore arriving late for his connection.

    He states that Northern should have provided a wheelchair-accessible taxi instead, and in my opinion a reasonable request considering the distance of the detour and he had contacted the company ahead.

    I wonder why, on reaching Wigan, he had to return through Bolton rather than catch a train from Wigan directly to Piccadilly? The report fails to mention the train times.

    Thoughts?

    For what it's worth, I don't understand why staffed stations don't have a crossing point where staff can safely cross the lines with the passenger in cases where lifts have broken down.
     
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  3. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    The trouble with those is that people tend to use them when they're not supposed to, staff or no staff, usually at night when drunk when there's greatest risk.
     
  4. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Yes, just nip across to catch the train approaching the other platform! Hmmm. But if these emergency pathways could somehow be gated and unlocked only by staff? But that wouldn't be necessary if TOC's would immediately transfer the pax by taxi to a suitable station where time lost would be minimal.

    Just wonder, in this case, if he couldn't have been taxied to a station with access - such as Moses Gate two miles further on - and the next through train to Piccadilly makes an unscheduled stop to pick him up there? Or is that completely out of the question?
     
  5. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    Seems Northern have an issue with lift maintenance - the one at Forster Square was out of action for weeks - no idea if it is working today. There is a ramp, but I wouldn't like to a self propel a wheelchair uphill for about 50m.
     
  6. yoyothehobo

    yoyothehobo Member

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    I think as soon as you start having foot crossings at stations as busy as Bolton you start getting into dangerous territory.

    With regards to getting a Taxi to Moses Gate that would seem sensible, even if you then require to change at Salford Crescent.
     
  7. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    I know things can break down in an instant, but is there a specific page a disabled pax can read before they set off where current known issues are highlighted? So, for example, if I was taking Mum a trip tomorrow I could check out now and reorganise my plans accordingly?
     
  8. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Could they arrange a non-scheduled stop at Moses Gate (as trains calling there are infrequent, and none on Sundays!) so the man, who had planned everything correctly, could get to his connection?
     
  9. Trackman

    Trackman Member

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    why don't they have one of those evac chairs that work on stairs?
    One person to operate going down and two going up, cant be that difficult?
     
  10. Trackman

    Trackman Member

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    This reminds me of the ramp at Hither Green where they are no lifts.
    You'd needs arms like popeye to get up it, going down it- is well, very dangerous to say the least, plus if you are out of control there is a brick wall at the bottom.
     
  11. Y Ddraig Coch

    Y Ddraig Coch Member

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    They do indeed...

    https://www.journeycheck.com/northernrail/

    That shows you catering updates, ticket machine issues, station issues ( ie lifts), cancellations, line updates and train formation updates etc etc.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jul 2019
  12. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Can't remember, Moses Gate might have one of those shallow ramps with spread-out steps to access the Up platform

    EDIT: It now has a proper ramp...but the adjacent road seems to lack a decent Drop-Off/Pick-Up area...

    Bolton has bi-directional lines, good speed run-in from the south, sharp curves to the north, OLE masts obscuring sight lines, etc. And drunken Boltonians who'll 'just nip across'. Not a good idea in the slightest.

    Because the soonest train from Wigan was the one via Bolton; which also avoided changing stations in Wigan from Wallgate to North Western. It's only stated he travelled through Bolton, not that he changed there.
     
  13. OneOffDave

    OneOffDave Member

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    They are designed for the emergency evacuation of people who can't walk, not routine movement. They feel incredibly unsafe as a 'passenger' in them and there's a significant risk of injury to the handlers if there aren't enough bodies for going up stairs. You've also got to move the wheelchair user's wheelchair too!

    Using journeycheck to see what's broken and then rerouting your travel lets the TOC 'off the hook' from doing what they are required to do for disabled passengers. Also in a number of circumstances, plans can't be reorganised at the drop of a hat, esp if assistance needs to be/has been booked for other legs of the trip. If the lifts are out at FNB in the morning, I'm still going to turn up for my train as usual rather than driving to Woking, paying extra to park there and then trying to negotiate assistance from there. If it's disruption that's affecting everyone then that's fine, one of those things but if it's just affecting disabled passengers then I expect the TOC to do their job and sort it out
     
  14. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Thank you, page bookmarked!
     
  15. etr221

    etr221 Member

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    And for those travelling with other TOCs? Or on journeys involving more than one TOC (either trains or stations)?
    It's the sort of web site which should cover all of National Rail...
     
  16. Y Ddraig Coch

    Y Ddraig Coch Member

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    It could get very busy and hard to find the information you need if all TOc's where in the same place. Huge numbers of alterations each day.

    Most TOC's have their own, they are pretty much all the same format, so If you can use one you can use them all and they usually overlap and mention other TOC's if they think if may affect their customers.

    For instance the TfW journey check often shows Virgin and GWR changes as they know passengers either connect or use the same stations as their trains.
     
  17. RWill35396

    RWill35396 Member

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    Would the train not have been able to stop at the accessible platform in this instance, I wonder?
     
  18. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    The information seems a bit lacking here, but it sounds to me like the customer was travelling from Bolton to London Euston? By the sounds of it, their planned route was Bolton to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston? If the customer was unable to access their booked train because of a lift failure, to me, two solutions stand out:

    1. Organise the customer alternative transport to Manchester Piccadilly to make their connection in time.
    2. If 1 isn't possible, look for an alternative connection from Bolton, departing from the platforms which could be reached. Make special arrangements for the customer to be conveyed by an alternative train to London, arriving with minimal delay. This would likely have been Bolton to Wigan North Western, then Wigan North Western to London Euston.

    I am not sure how good of an idea it is to try sending them by taxi to an unstaffed station? And it's unclear why one might go all the way to Wigan and then all the way back to Manchester?
     
  19. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    The ones at Shipley have also been having issues for a while. Now I don't know if its related, but I know my work's office has been having no end of problems with at least 2 of the 8 in the building most if not all of the time, and I've heard other sites having similar problems. I've a sneaky feeling that the Northern ones & the ones at my work are maintained by the same company, so it does make me wonder if there are issues with lift maintenance companies in general.
     
  20. Bromley boy

    Bromley boy Established Member

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    Slightly off topic for the thread but, regarding Hither Green, there has been a longstanding local campaign to improve accessibility at the station, but it all seems to have gone quiet lately.

    I believe there is already a ramp to the platform 2/3 island, but it is locked out of use, presumably because of safety concerns.
     
  21. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    The lift at Forster Square is about a million years old so it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s broken beyond repair. It’s also prone to vandalism.
    Unless you are specifically heading for the part of the city where the lift takes you, there are a multitude of different exits that are wheelchair accessible so it’s not as big an issue as locations where there is no alternative.
     
  22. DanTrain

    DanTrain Member

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    Lift maintenance can be an issue not just for the disabled, the lift at Southampton was broken the other day so I had to lug my bike over the stairs (tight connection so didn’t have much time to do so either) Being fairly young this wasn’t a huge issue but I still struggled at the top and had I dropped it it could have caused some serious injuries to those below. No-one on the station bothered to offer assistance or appologise even when I was clearly looking for the lift. Really major stations should have 2 lifts but I do appreciate the cost issue there!
     
  23. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    Journeycheck, certainly for Northern stations, is pretty good at highlighting lift issues. So yes, a check of that before you travel would be a good bet.
     
  24. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    The signalling permits calling at Platform 4 in the Manchester-bound direction.

    But got to be balanced against getting the request to the signaller in time, plus schlepping everybody else over the bridge from Platform 3 (which is a considerable distance at Bolton), and slight delay to the train by running on the slower route (and delay to Down trains by putting them all through P5)
     
  25. whhistle

    whhistle On Moderation

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    Not too sure why Bolton didn't request a platform change for the train.
    I say this not knowing the track layout or if it's possible.
    The station should have been aware of the customer movements so either train could have been re-platformed to make the change easier.
     
  26. OneOffDave

    OneOffDave Member

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    SWR is having lift issues too. Lifts are currently out at Earlsfield, Feltham and Southampton Central. The ones at Earlsfield have been broken since the 11th June
     
  27. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    What was failed to be disclosed in the article is that the writer is a BBC journalist who specialises in stories about disabilities (yes, he's more qualified). But it did set off my spidey sense as to whether there was a wider agenda here.

    This sort of quote "He added: “I told the man three times that under the Equality Act 2010, the staff would have to get me a taxi to make reasonable adjustments for my journey. He said I would have to get the train to Wigan and then catch a train to Piccadilly.”" makes me wonder if he got people's backs up.

    And he spins it that he missed two trains back to London. There are loads of them. He's an hour late. I bet the rest of Northern's passengers would be pleased with that !
     
  28. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    I might be being blind, but where on the page does it say who the writer is?
     
  29. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    He's the passenger. Who do you think wrote this piece ? A random work experiencer at the Bolton News (doubt it, not enough typos) or a BBC journalist who just happens to the subject of the story.... hence also intentional NOT to make the point clear.
     
  30. Bikeman78

    Bikeman78 Member

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    You might be interested to know that when the lifts on platforms 2 and 3 fail at Newport, all trains use 1 or 4 because they have level access to the street. It can cause significant delays. In that context, replatforming one or two trains at Bolton hardly seems like a big deal.
     
  31. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    It's not for me to speak on Ellis' behalf, and I'm sure he'd be suitably annoyed with me if I did. What I will do, though, is point out that Ellis is one of the most talented, hardworking, and professional journalists I've come across. Like many of us, there are specific issues about which he is particularly passionate. Understandably, for Ellis, those issues are disability related; his reporting in that field has been, and continues to be, examplary.

    I have no idea who wrote the Bolton News piece, and neither do you. What I do know is that if Ellis had written it, in the way that it has been written, and his employer found out, he would very rapidly be an ex-BBC employee, because to have done such a thing would be grossly unethical. There is nothing wrong with being a campaigning journalist, even at the BBC; but rule number one is you never hide, and you never lie.
     

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