VT in the news.

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Ferret

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http://limpingchicken.com/2014/07/23/train-deaf-investigation/

Seems VT are having a kicking on twitter over this. Doesn't sound good, though it sounds as if the passenger is not squeaky clean either - I take from the article that somebody was trying to use a mobility pass well out of area, and I seem to recall that the incident happened when the ticket office was open. Twitter has been full of bile though, predictably...

Article follows:

Virgin Trains are investigating an incident in which a Train Manager allegedly subjected a Deaf woman to a angry tirade which horrified other passengers.

Michelle Quayle boarded a train from Crewe to Manchester Piccadilly on Saturday morning.

She was sitting in her seat reading a book when the Train Manager got her attention by waving his hand in front of her face.

Her written complaint to Virgin Trains states:

“He was huffing and puffing red faced shouting at me. I gestured I was deaf but he continued to shout. I gestured pen and paper so he could write down what he was saying but he stood adamantly and continued to shout. All the passengers were looking at me now. The lady next to me tried to say something to him but he looked away ignoring her and carried on staring eyes shouting directly at me.”

According to her complaint, she gestured again to him to write down what he wanted to say, then took out her purse, which held a bus pass covering part of her journey - which she says the Train Manager took away as the train pulled into Wilmslow station.

When he returned, her complaint states:

“At this point I wanted my bus pass back in case he left with it again, I tried to take it, he [but he lifted] up his elbow and shook his head no.”

Her complaint states that he continued shouting at her before agreeing to write on the paper.He wrote down “pay first” and then asked in writing which station she had boarded at.

There was more confusion when Quayle gestured to him to add a Disabled Railcard discount for her journey.

Her complaint says the conductor shook his head, before he realised what she wanted and, in her words, “angrily hit some buttons on his ticket [machine].”

Quayle says:

“After he stormed off, I was shaking and reduced to tears. All the passengers rallied round me to see if I was okay. The older lady next to me kindly gave me a tissue.”

A witness on the train sent us her own complaint to Virgin Trains. She wrote:

“[The Deaf woman] was crying and obviously distressed. As he turned and walked past me he said ‘I should have just kicked her off’ and muttering more down the carriage. He effectively silenced a women who couldn’t communicate, laughed in her face, abused and degraded her in front of a carriage of people. His behaviour was despicable and I hope action is taken.”

Shortly after the incident, several passengers tweeted Virgin Trains to express their disgust at what they had witnessed:


(Please note: a Deaf twitter user corrected this man on his use of the term ‘deaf and dumb.’)

Quayle describes the incident as being “absolutely disgusting and degrading.” She said: “I have no idea what abuse was thrown at me because I couldn’t hear/lipread a word.”

Her complaint to Virgin Trains also states:

“Never ever in 29 years of my deaf life have I ever experienced an encounter such as this. Sure I’ve come across impatient people, people with lack of awareness but never abuse such as this. Never has my deafness ever brought me down, I have aspired to live my life to the full. After this experience, for the first time ever, it has hit me hard and knocked me for six.”

We contacted Virgin Trains about the incident, sharing the written complaints and tweets with them. Their spokesman said:

“We take this allegation extremely seriously and have launched an investigation to uncover the full circumstances of this case. Naturally we are not in a position to comment further until this investigation has concluded and we are in command of all the facts. However, we would like to apologise for any distress experienced.”
 
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aformeruser

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So it sounds like she wanted a Crewe-Stockport ticket with a disabled railcard discount and then wanted to use a TfGM issued ENCTS pass to cover the part of the journey within Greater Manchester. I don't know why she didn't use a TVM at Crewe station which would have been much easier for her to purchase a ticket using then from a person.
 

All Line Rover

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Probably because, as happens more often than not on this route, she was hoping there wouldn't be any ticket check! Even if there was a ticket check at Piccadilly, her pass would have got her through.
 
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aformeruser

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Probably because, as happens more often than not on this route, she was hoping there wouldn't be any ticket check!
A number of the Manchester based crews do ticket checks north of Stoke/Crewe but the London based crews don't seem to bother - just doing one check for the entire journey.
 

All Line Rover

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And you aren't entitiled to a Railcard discount on board when boarding at a staffed station such as Crewe, so I'm not surprise the TM wasn't happy about that.
 

aformeruser

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And you aren't entitiled to a Railcars discount on board when boarding at a staffed station such as Crewe, so I'm not surprise the TM wasn't happy about that.
Or off-peak tickets. One person who was sat near me on a Virgin service asked the train manager for a single between Manchester and London just after the train had left Stockport, to which the train manager responded giving the peak single price (on a Saturday at 10:30.) The passenger protested but the train manger said he could either buy the peak single to London or buy a peak single to Stoke and then alight there and buy a Stoke-London ticket from the ticket office. The passenger chose the latter.
 

All Line Rover

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And she was reading a book, requiring the TM to get her attention before she would buy a ticket! She was deaf, not deaf and blind.

It sounds like this woman was trying her luck, got 'caught', the TM was more lenient than the rules require, and this woman is simply being melodramatic. The fact she was deaf might not have helped the situation (it made it easier for her to avoid buying a ticket!) but she should have done what everyone has to do, which is buy a ticket at Crewe station. All the more so when one has special requirements.

There are a few very bad Virgin TMs/guards (as is the case with all TOCs), whose behaviour is unacceptable. I would hope that Virgin checks the CCTV to make sure that this particular TM's behaviour was in order. If the TM behaved appropriately, this woman is one of those annoying individuals who gives the wrong impression that all disabled people are self-centred attention seekers.
 

Ferret

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ALR, at the time it happened, there were about 3 different tweets from witnesses complaining so my guess is that the TM may not have handled the situation well. Still, it seems as you say that there was an attempt to faredodge here, and she got caught. Not that this will stop the twitterati...
 

ainsworth74

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We have a thing called discretion down here, because every person and situation is different!
And it appears that the TM exercised that discretion but it doesn't change the fact that if she wished to use a railcard she should have bought before travel when travelling from Crewe.
 

87019Chris

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A: She should have bought a ticket at Crewe as it is an offense to board a train without a valid ticket when there are the facilities to buy a ticket at the station.
B: You shouldn't be given a railcard fare on a train when buying a ticket from a staffed station or a station where you could have bought a ticket.

With these in mind she was lucky to be given the opportunity to do these, the attitude the guard showed wasn't anywhere near good enough but as we all know we have our off days. But he was extremely good by what he offered her. By selling her a ticket valid with a railcard he went beyond what he should have done and this story would be a different matter if it was an 18 yo with joggers and a hoodie on?

In my opinion we don't know if she was attempting to push her look or not as we aren't her and I can't read minds :shock:, a lot of people also don't know these rules and assume they can just buy them on the train. It wasn't handled correctly by the guard but I doubt he would have wanted that situation to come up on his train. If he had of handled the situation like the book say's I bet we would still have a thread here saying VT Guard throws deaf person off the train? and the twitterati still gunning for him.

At the end of the day VT will deal with it I'm sure of that.
 

Tetchytyke

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A: She should have bought a ticket at Crewe as it is an offense to board a train without a valid ticket when there are the facilities to buy a ticket at the station.
B: You shouldn't be given a railcard fare on a train when buying a ticket from a staffed station or a station where you could have bought a ticket.
Except that's not completely accurate for passengers with disabilities.

NRCoC directs you towards the TOC's individual disability policy if you can't buy a ticket before boarding. Virgin's says:

Virgin Trains said:
5. Tickets and fares
The Disabled Persons Railcard is welcomed for purchasing
reduced price travel on all Virgin trains. This Railcard entitles
holders to discounts on a wide range of ticket types available for
travel by Virgin Trains.

In training provided to our on train staff, they are advised to
allow disabled customers who, due to their disability, have been
unable to buy a ticket before boarding the train, to use their
Railcard, or not to be otherwise disadvantaged by being unable
to buy a ticket at the station

The Disabled Person’s Railcard will continue to be valid
for purchasing reduced price travel for the holder and an
accompanying adult on all Virgin trains. Certain discounts are
also available to non Railcard holders, details of which can be
found in the Rail Travel Made Easy leaflet, along with further
information on the Disabled Persons Railcard.
Leaving aside the sloppy writing in paragraph 1 ("purchasing reduced price travel on Virgin Trains" could well be taken entirely literally), passengers who haven't been able to buy due to their disability are able to buy the full range of tickets on board.

I'm not saying whether she was able to buy a ticket, I'm just saying it's not quite as cut-and-dried as several people have claimed it to be.
 
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Ferret

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I stand corrected.
Kinda - if she was reading her book and then flashed the TfGM mobility pass, she was hardly attempting to purchase a valid ticket for her journey. Seems to me that the TM has caught a faredodger but regrettably, he's gone off the deep end! I expect he'll be receiving a telling off and advised on how to handle such incidents in the future...
 

ainsworth74

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Quite, I'm more just thinking it's as clear cut as first thought regarding the purchase of a DSB discounted ticket on-board. But the rest of the scenario I would broadly agree with your goodself!
 

Tetchytyke

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Kinda - if she was reading her book and then flashed the TfGM mobility pass, she was hardly attempting to purchase a valid ticket for her journey.
I'd probably agree with that.

I'm really not convinced that deafness, of itself, is enough to prevent someone buying a ticket at the ticket office. Between a hearing loop and a notepad they should be able to make themselves understood at the counter. If it was just a TVM at Crewe it would be different, as there can be a significant language barrier if they "speak" BSL rather than English.

But disabled people can buy on board, even from staffed stations, if they can't access the ticket office facilities.
 
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DarloRich

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So it sounds like she wanted a Crewe-Stockport ticket with a disabled railcard discount and then wanted to use a TfGM issued ENCTS pass to cover the part of the journey within Greater Manchester. I don't know why she didn't use a TVM at Crewe station which would have been much easier for her to purchase a ticket using then from a person.
You assume she was able to use the machine and that the induction loop worked at the ticket office

A: She should have bought a ticket at Crewe as it is an offense to board a train without a valid ticket when there are the facilities to buy a ticket at the station.
B: You shouldn't be given a railcard fare on a train when buying a ticket from a staffed station or a station where you could have bought a ticket.

With these in mind she was lucky to be given the opportunity to do these, the attitude the guard showed wasn't anywhere near good enough but as we all know we have our off days. But he was extremely good by what he offered her. By selling her a ticket valid with a railcard he went beyond what he should have done and this story would be a different matter if it was an 18 yo with joggers and a hoodie on?

In my opinion we don't know if she was attempting to push her look or not as we aren't her and I can't read minds :shock:, a lot of people also don't know these rules and assume they can just buy them on the train. It wasn't handled correctly by the guard but I doubt he would have wanted that situation to come up on his train. If he had of handled the situation like the book say's I bet we would still have a thread here saying VT Guard throws deaf person off the train? and the twitterati still gunning for him.

At the end of the day VT will deal with it I'm sure of that.
And you aren't entitiled to a Railcard discount on board when boarding at a staffed station such as Crewe, so I'm not surprise the TM wasn't happy about that.
You are wrong I am afraid. From what I understand IF you are unable to buy a ticket at a station because of your disability you are entitled to purchase from the full range of tickets on the train.

A very helpful Scotrail on board ticket man told me this when travelling with a friend who holds a disabled railcard!

This person may well have been f'ing it. She could also have found herself unable to understand the communication being attempted or able to make her requirements known.

It seems, from the report, that frustrations on both sides boiled over. The sad thing is that the whole thing is so easily avoidable. Upset passengers and a guard who will no doubt be hauled in for a chat (sans tea et biscuit)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
EDIT - Arctic Troll beat me to it!
 
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Qwerty133

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I'd probably agree with that.

I'm really not convinced that deafness, of itself, is enough to prevent someone buying a ticket at the ticket office. Between a hearing loop and a notepad they should be able to make themselves understood at the counter. If it was just a TVM at Crewe it would be different, as there can be a significant language barrier if they "speak" BSL rather than English.

But disabled people can buy on board, even from staffed stations, if they can't access the ticket office facilities.
Find me a book written in sign language and I'll agree that that's a possibility, otherwise if she's able to read a book she's able to use a TVM.
 

TSR :D

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This is it. I've always known this was bound to happen. This sort of thing regularly happens to deaf passengers and of course, almost all of times, it's not reported because the said deaf person doesn't care enough to put it on news.

It's not clear cut situation but I would say she's in wrong because VT disability policy doesn't apply in this case as almost all deaf people can buy their tickets at ticket office. However it doesn't excuse the bad attitude from the train manager. Anyone worth his/her salt would've known that your facial expression and your body language is very important in regards to trying to interact with someone who doesn't speak your language (Deaf or not).
 
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Ferret

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Having read the twitterers howls of indignation, I'd love to have seen their reaction if the Virgin Trains TM had done it by the book! As she was out of area on her mobility pass, he could've in theory, withdrawn the pass as evidence, taken her name and address details and reported her for Byelaw 18/RRA s.5(3) as he saw fit. Gulp!
 

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Find me a book written in sign language and I'll agree that that's a possibility, otherwise if she's able to read a book she's able to use a TVM.
And that's why I think she was trying it on. Especially as she had the notepad for communication, meaning the ticket office clerk could have used it before boarding.

But there are a significant minority of deaf people who do not understand, and cannot speak, English. Their language is BSL.
 

Tracky

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I had a group of people on a train a while back. All deaf, all trying to travel on bus passes which they could not use on the route. I decided the best course of action was to record the incident with management and do nothing. It is an awkward one.

As for buying tickets on trains most TOCs suggest discretion, particularly when the railcard holders disability may have affected their ability to buy before boarding.

I have often wondered how that can work in some areas though. For example a blind or visually impaired passenger joining a DOO train at a station with a TVM and penalty fares in place. Obviously a penalty fare couldn't be applied but it doesn't help the person actually buy a ticket!
 

TSR :D

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And that's why I think she was trying it on. Especially as she had the notepad for communication, meaning the ticket office clerk could have used it before boarding.

But there are a significant minority of deaf people who do not understand, and cannot speak, English. Their language is BSL.
Not really, but it can be said that there are significant minority (actually, I would say majority) of deaf people whose their first language is BSL are not fluent in English. However, their English is good enough to manage everyday life.

I doubt she wasn't able to understand English as she had been reading a book. Most of books in BSL are either for children or learning BSL.
 
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Cheds

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Cheds Dad is rather alarmed by the several on this board who seem able to diagnose this person's disability from very limited information.

Cheds Dad does not know whether the TM was correct or not, and nor do others.

Cheds Dad does know that Cheds cannot use a TVM. And that Cheds has a disabled railcard. And uses BSL. Does this make Cheds deaf?

No.

Be careful what you assume!
 

happybunny

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Cheds Dad is rather alarmed by the several on this board who seem able to diagnose this person's disability from very limited information.

Cheds Dad does not know whether the TM was correct or not, and nor do others.

Cheds Dad does know that Cheds cannot use a TVM. And that Cheds has a disabled railcard. And uses BSL. Does this make Cheds deaf?

No.

Be careful what you assume!
Who is Cheds Dad?? I am VERY confused
 

Qwerty133

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Wholehearted apologies to anyone this post that really wasn't though through, and should never have appeared, offended.
I really wasn't thinking clearly and presumed way too many things, which I shouldn't have done.
Again apologies to everyone affected by this post
 
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Cheds

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Qwerty133/post 26:

Cheds didn't write this, Cheds Dad did. Because Cheds can't write. Or read. But he can use some BSL.

The point remains that no posters on here have sufficient information to KNOW what this woman's disability is, so conjecture doesn't help.

As for 'people with learning difficulties shouldn't be travelling alone', Cheds would be speechless - if he could speak.
 
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Qwerty133

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Qwerty133/post 26:

Cheds didn't write this, Cheds Dad did. Because Cheds can't write. Or read. But he can use some BSL.

The point remains that no posters on here have sufficient information to KNOW what this woman's disability is, so conjecture doesn't help.

As for 'people with learning difficulties shouldn't be travelling alone', Cheds would be speechless - if he could speak.
Sorry I took your post in completely the wrong way:oops:, of course people with learning difficulties can travel alone, and I wasn't really thinking how I was phrasing the post, but clearly they are some people who for their own safety and that of others shouldn't travel alone. I also presumed that it was written by Cheds himself. Sorry for the complete misunderstanding.
I will be more careful in future with regards to thinking things through before posting, and remember that posting straight after a argument is not the best idea in the world.
 
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