Passengers disability scooter not allowed on train [SWT]

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by wintonian, 17 Nov 2011.

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  1. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    Continuing the semi-recent theme of wheelchairs we now have an electric scooter that is not allowed on the train.

    From the Hampshire Chronicle

    What is the reason for the size restriction (obviously it need to actually fit through the doors and not block the isle) and the discrepancy between 3 and 4 wheeled scooters?
     
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  3. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Turning circle. Four wheeled scooters need a larger space to manoeuvre in.

    Generally, four wheeled scooters cannot be carried on a train, because they don't fit!
     
  4. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    So in that case I'm assuming the gentleman in the article would (if SWT changed the rules to allow his old scooter on-board) then complain about not being able to alight from the train and request that SWT remove seats/ redesign the layout for him?
     
  5. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Precisely. He cannot actually fit on the train and manoeuvre with his scooter. That's why there is a maximum size restriction. AFAIK most train operators do discriminate between 3 and 4 wheeled scooters. He couldn't actually turn in the vestibule, and would not be able to get off even if he got on!

    The problem can only be solved by drastically altering the entire interior of SWT's trains, incurring vast cost.
     
  6. rmt-driver

    rmt-driver Member

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    Someone tried bringing a large four wheel scooter, on my train once. In the middle of the evening rush hour! Train was packed, asked them to leave, refused. Luckily there was two RPI's on the train who backed me up. After quite a delay, them refusing to leave, the train was moved to the next available station with a bay platform to get it off the main, police called... first thing old bill said to me "have you not heard of the DDA" *sigh* .... why bother?

    Old biddies (or sometimes just seemingly vastly overweight people) who have these big scooter things seem to want to take them everywhere! They ride them down the A1 when it suits them, on the footpath (some of them take no prisoners, heaven forbid a pedestrian should get in there way), through a busy supermarket, and park them on a packed rush hour train! (When even a simple modest pedal cycle is banned, never mind one of these monstrosities!)

    The things are a bloody nuisance.
     
  7. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    Well that's OK as long as he, the taxpayer or fare increases don't pay for it! ;)

    Or maybe he would prefer to freeze in the guards van on a slammer.
     
  8. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Precisely. This man mentioned in the OP could not actually safely alight from the train. He could get on, but he wouldn't be able to turn around and get off! This is to say nothing of what could happen in an emergency.
     
  9. rmt-driver

    rmt-driver Member

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    Exactly, in an emergency evacuation or such, it wouldn't only be the person on the thing that would be in trouble, it would actually hamper other passengers means of escape! Simply not safe at all.
     
  10. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    If he is genuinely disabled and needs to get around then shouldn't he be in a wheelchair?

    If the size limit is changed to allow something 2.75cm bigger, then someone next time wanting to bring something 2.75cm bigger (ie. 5.5cm bigger than present rules) will kick up a fuss to have the rules changed. Where does it stop?
     
  11. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    Yep had one in Asda this morning that kept trying to run me down. <(
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I think they do provide increased mobility, however most of then don't know how to drive the dam things.

    Precisely.
     
  12. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    Nail firmly hit on head. People who are significantly mobility impaired are generally supposed to use wheelchairs, which will always be accommodated. 'Mobility Scooters' are for use by those who are not incapable of walking but require some help doing so over any distance. They are big, rugged devices intended for outdoor use, and as such they are not suitable for carriage on public transport. Those which can be folded down and placed in a luggage rack are welcome, those which cannot aren't. I very much doubt if this gentleman would intend to use it on his local bus, so there is really no reason to assume it is acceptable on a train. SWT won't be changing their rules on this, and the dopey MP would save himself a lot of hassle and embarrassment if he checked with his colleagues what the Government policy is rather the aimlessly badgering one particular TOC who is simply following them :roll:
     
  13. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    We don't actually know whether he has spoken to our MP, only that the paper alleges it to have been, possibly on the gentleman's say so.

    As SWT are not going to back down why doesn't he try and persuade National Express or First (trading as Greyhound) to redesign their coaches instead?
     
    Last edited: 17 Nov 2011
  14. callum112233

    callum112233 Member

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    Giving an old person anything with wheels is a death trap I would say.

    I also think it is right that this man was refused to be allowed to travel. If the TOC break their own rules then they may aswell not have rules to start with.

    I do think it's a shame that public transport for disabled people isn't always easy though.
     
  15. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Public transport for disabled people is a lot easier than it was twenty years ago.

    Unfortunately, as has been stated above, people seem to think that their large, well constructed, sturdy mobility scooters can be used everywhere. It sound sas though this particular type is ideally suited for being driven down the road to the shops, but is rather less ideal for getting on a train.

    I really do get quite depressed whenever I hea rof this sort of story, particularly when MP's decide to jump on the bandwagon and support the person without knowing anything about the issues involved.
     
  16. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    It is rather a shame. Sadly the world cannot cater to every aspect of disability, no matter how hard anyone tries. It's rather sad all round, I think.

    Oh, and at the top of the thread is a targeted advert for mobility scooters!

    http://www.valuemobility.co.uk/?gclid=CKze-M7BvqwCFdQOfAod4SMjow

    (Yes, site admins....I clicked it! :lol:)
     
  17. AndrewP

    AndrewP Member

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    Bit of help for anyone who gets DDA quoted to them.

    It doesn't exist anymore - it has been superseded by the Equality Act 2010.

    Hopefully that should help with some of the know it alls!
     
  18. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    I think we have to accept that not everyone can do everything. We need to stop pretending that everyone is equal - I think everyone is unique, and every individual has their own set of abilities and challenges, whatever they are.
     
  19. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    The problem is the same story gets re-heated every year or so, this is just one of the regular axes people grind against SWT, it's come up regularly ever since the Mk 1 stock went out of service - when people complained that the new trains ought to have guards vans for mobility scooters, 'like the old trains'.

    You can see exactly why SWT (and most other TOCs) get a bit short with their replies.
     
  20. Bayum

    Bayum Established Member

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    I cannot believe people are suggesting that the man isn't genuinely disabled - because he uses a scooter...

    He has one leg, osteoarthritis of the spine and people think he isn't genuinely disabled?

    Should he be in a wheelchair to be 'genuinely disabled'? Maybe there I a reason he doesn't use a wheelchair?
     
  21. deltic1989

    deltic1989 Established Member

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    Im not a fan of mobility scooters i was nearly taken off my motorbike by one once. But all things considered the line has to be drawn somewhere. If they give this fellow an inch then others will take a mile. Rules are there for a reason and they cant be changed or broken to suit people who think they are silly what kind of society would we have if everyone did this? Im with SWT on this the rule is there for health and safety reasons and would put other passengers at risk if it were broken. I agree that provisions should be made for disabled people but there is only so much that can be done and you cant please everyone all the time.
     
  22. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree that SWT is right to stick to their guns, however is it not possible to have this chap conveyed in the wheelchair section?
     
  23. Michael.Y

    Michael.Y Established Member

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    Not if you can't actually get him to the wheelchair section. On 175s, you have to navigate the vestibule, round the toilet door, through the vestibule door, cut across the buggy hold past a separating perspex...er...seperator before you get to the designated wheelchair position. It's only just about manageable with a fully manoeuvrable wheelchair on a non-crowded train. It would be impossible for a full-size mobility scooter with the relative turning circle capabilities of an HGV in a multi-storey car park.
     
  24. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Of course I don't mean moving it on the train, but rather along the platform to the correct part of the train and board the nearest door to the area.
     
  25. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    The difficulty appears to be once on board the train, whichever door is used. There are size limits because anythign bigger cannot be maneouvered once on board.
     
  26. wintonian

    wintonian Established Member

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    and again if you board on something like a 444/ 159 etc. you will have to navigate the vestibule to get from the door to the wheel chair space which obviously reduces the space avalible for turning.
     
  27. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Also, what happens if the door nearest the wheelchair space develops a fault? You then wouldn't be able to detrain the passenger safely or with any dignity.
     
  28. bAzTNM

    bAzTNM Member

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    I'd have to agree with them banning those mobility scooters. Some of them are huge and would no doubt fill the whole vestibule.
     
  29. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    As we said earlier in this thread, if he is genuinely disabled - and it seems that he clearly is - then yes, he does need to be using a wheelchair and not a scooter for the purposes of travelling on public transport. Whether he would generally use one or not is not the issue, he needs to be in one to be conveyed on the train.

    The reason that TOCs have these rules is because some mobility scooters are essentially road-going vehicles and are simply not suitable for carriage on trains. They are too big, which means that they cannot be properly maneuvered inside the coach, can cause damage to the train interior in the process, and can present a hazard to other passengers by not fitting correctly into the designated space. In addition, train access ramps have a maximum safe working load and width of item that they can carry, and there is a risk of large scooters 'grounding' if they cannot make the angle of the ramp against the platform surface. Many of these scooters fall outside of those parameters. If a passenger such as this gentleman was to fall from the ramp whilst boarding or leaving the train, no doubt SWT would be expected to pay significant compensation etc, and so the issues soon become very clear. There is no practical way of judging on the platform which scooters are fit to be carried and which aren't without causing undue delay to the train, which is not acceptable to other passengers - remember, this is equality not favoritism - and of course even if that policy was used there would be cries of unfairness from those whose scooters did not fit.

    Some individuals will always prefer to cry foul rather than follow established policies if it causes them an inconvenience to do so, such is the nature of some people. SWT, as with all other TOCs, know there is no room for argument when it comes to the law on disabled people, and are acting perfectly within their rights and published policy.
     
    Last edited: 18 Nov 2011
  30. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    Having been on a few 175s I believe that Michael has described it from the closest door! On Northern units there are similar issues with toilets and walls/seperators.
     
  31. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    If you use the correct door on a 444 there isn't really a separate vestibule - the route from the door to the wheel chair areas is pretty spacious AFAICS, but there must still be a particular size of scooter that cannot do the turn towards the 'wheelchair' space. But there is still the basic width of the carriage door - it is only single leaf. One of the problems a TOC gets is the rules can't really be rolling stock specific. As you hint at if the route has any of 444, 450, or 158/9 showing up on different successive services SWT would then get more criticism if a particular scooter fitted through a 450 double doorway but not 444 or DMU.
     
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