I always lived in fear of being late – for work, school, and friends.
As a wheelchair user, I get get up at 5 a.m. for my supervisor to come to help me, to be dressed, often skip Breakfast to catch the 06:30 train to Waterloo.
I accept this as part of my responsibility. What I don’t accept is late for work, because I have been completely stuck on the train of platform employees who do not arrive.
Unfortunately, I was in exactly this situation in the Tuesday morning commute, stuck on the train for about 20 minutes – the longest in a catalogue of incidents I began recording over the years.
As the train passengers, I left, waited patiently, but nobody came. As soon as it became clear that I had forgotten, I was struck, not by fear, but rather a familiar feeling of frustrated resignation – mocked by the small but insurmountable gap between the train and the platform.
Tired of treated like a second-class citizen, today I decided to stream for the first time, what was happening live. I didn’t do it for attention or pity, but rather the highlighting of the reality of the trip as a disabled person.
At the end of the Twitter post from @Taylor DWORD
South Western Railway, the railway behind the service, I was on the road, apologized for the “unacceptable” incident and an investigation is underway said.
“We take a serious barrier to freedom, and we want all of our customers said our trains are safe and comfortable,” the company said in a statement.
“We have been working very closely with the accessibility of groups in our network, to improve to help us improve our services,” it added.
However, this is an almost identical situation was reflected, as of 2016, where I was left desperate to come in screaming for help after finding myself completely alone and not able to work.
This happened in the hands of another operator South West Trains – but the change has no impact on the staff.
Such humble situations that are easily avoidable, especially since the track called, was on watch in this last case, helped me on Board with the wheelchair ramp, to arrange, help with the platform staff.
But also many other disabled people have similar experienced situations, including my blind former BBC colleague, Lucy Edwards, who also found himself forgotten by the platform in a London station, when the reporting for BBC Radio 4.
Alan Benson, Chairman of the barrier-freedom pressure group Transport for All, said: “The accessibility of our rail network is now also behind other public transport such as buses.
“Railway companies (the make all the good-looking profits) need to stop disabled people as second-class citizens.”Broken system
The frequency of the problems point to a systemic problem in a broader social approach to disability.
In March, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner the widespread Dimension of the problem is highlighted, according to the tweets about his anger at the “casual disregard” on the part of the employees, as he tried to Board a plane in London Heathrow.
He said he felt that his fundamental human rights had been denied after his wheelchair was lost by the employees.
And that is how I felt on Tuesday morning, helpless, as the clocked ticked down.
Faced with the prospect of guardless, automated trains, I ask for fear of the future and that the railway companies involved.
I can accept that the mobility needs more than a person with a disability, I can get up to get to 5 o’clock, I can skip Breakfast, but I can’t and don’t want to waste my time.