Thursday, 13 December 2007

Travelling by train

Got back to Bristol quite early tonight, having caught the 8pm from Paddington with friend and local Labour activist, Kelvin. In 2006, just after the local elections, Kelvin came off his motorbike and severed his spinal cord, so he's now a wheelchair user. It was a bit of an eye-opener travelling with him. We looked for the disabled carriage, but couldn't find it (although it later turned out that it was in coach D and we'd only checked out coach E where it usually is). So we tried the first class carriage. The problem is, the gangways by the luggage racks are just a little bit too narrow for his wheelchair, so he has to remove one wheel and precariously balance on the other to squeeze through. He's had to do this on quite a few occasions on his journeys too and from London when there have been no disabled carriages. The trains have recently been refitted, so why couldn't FGW have just made the doorways an inch wider?

Kelvin had complained to FGW about this issue and other problems facing wheelchair users on their trains - see his website

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