It’s the little things that can really matter.

  • 24/6/14
  • Richmond – Willesden Jct – Euston – Return

As a wheelchair user the obstacles I face are very specific. As Franklin Roosevelt said “You have nothing to fear except fear itself. And steps, obviously.” Or at least I believe that’s the complete quote.

I’m pleased to be able to say that on this journey I was met with assistance and a ramp at every stage and from my point of view the trip was entirely painless and uneventful.

Being a wheelchair user also gives you insight and awareness of the impairments of others. One thing that always stands out for me, especially when they don’t work, are the audio and visual notifications of next stops and destinations when travelling by train. Sadly, on two out of the four trains I used on this journey neither the audible announcements or the visual signs were working. A fifty per cent success rate is really not good enough. I do hope no-one was materially affected by this technology failure.


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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4 Responses to It’s the little things that can really matter.

  1. tripility says:

    I am glad the assistance worked out well for you, we stopped using it as we have run into problems a few times. We have heard it has improved so it is probably time to reconsider. I agree with you about the announcements, sometimes the announcement is so quiet no one would hear anyway!

    • Alan says:

      This blog is all about when things don’t work, and assistance is one of those things regularly, but I would encourage you to try it. The thing that’s really going to sort of the problem is having so many people using it that it’s unacceptable not to get it right all of the time.

      • tripility says:

        That’s one of the reasons why we started, to try and make people accountable and think about accessibility. At the moment (as we have only just launched!) people can only review hotels. Travelling by train and aeroplane has been a mixed bag for us and usually a frustrating experience, on our latest travels we were left on the ambulift for just under an hour at Ibiza airport, whilst the rest of the plane boarded.

  2. Alan says:

    I’ve had some nightmares flying, but Spain has always been excellent, though this was always at Malaga. I’ve boarded last a few times, and always wait ages to get off (1.5 hours is my record) but I’ve never been in the ambulift that long.

    As with many things, the key is knowing how the system works and how to make it work in your favour, but that only comes from experience.

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