A failure to communicate.

  • 18/06/14
  • Richmond – Willesden Junction – Euston – Return

If I need assistance on my journey I’m encouraged to book it at least 24 hours in advance. This is especially the case for national rail companies. Most companies would like to enforce this and I often find myself defending not having booked ahead, but to be fair my experience is that staff at least try to be accommodating rather than be jobsworth about it. Recently Transport for London relaxed this and officially began to offer a “turn up and go” service. This is really key to giving disabled passengers the same opportunities for work and leisure as everybody else. Tonight’s journey was the perfect example of this.

During the day I unexpectedly managed to score tickes for the evening’s Bindmans debate on Surveillance, Security and Privacy, with Baroness Neville-Jones and Shami Chakrabarti. Without the ability to turn up and go it wouldn’t have been possible to take part in this topical and important discussion.

As usual we set off from Richmond, and sadly also increasingly as usual, the message of my impending arrival didn’t reach Willesden so I was stuck blocking the door whilst my travelling companion went hunting for a ramp. Fortunately arriving on the platform adjacent to the staff office meant than I was disembarked relatively quickly accompanied by profuse apologies and the oft heard excuse of “Nobody phoned me.”

The rest of the journey and the return leg passed entirely without incident. But if I had a pound for every time “nobody phoned me” I could at least have a slap up meal somewhere good, and I don’t mean Burger King.

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About Alan

I'm an Economist, Geek, Campaigner & wheelchair user who's been using all forms of public transport for 20+ years.
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