New research has revealed that six train operators are “in breach of legal requirements” following investigations into staffing policies.
The Association of British Commuters (ABC) conducted the research and found that six train operators in c2c, Chiltern, Greater Anglia, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Great Western Railway (GWR), and Southeastern, are discriminating against disabled passengers through their policies.
This is due to the operators denying “turn up and go” travel across 11 per cent of Britain’s stations for disabled passengers.
Major South East London stations are included in this and have all been found to make travelling harder for disabled travellers and named ‘no go areas’ for them.
REVEALED: Six train operators “in breach of legal requirements” due to discriminatory staffing policies.
Our latest submission to the @EHRC proves that disabled people are being denied ‘turn up and go’ travel at over 11% of Britain’s stations. https://t.co/9Nhlq8pCwI
— Association of British Commuters (@ABCommuters) November 22, 2022
South East London stations named ‘no go areas’ for disabled passengers
Stations in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, and Lewisham all have high rates for the issues.
ABC reports that the faults come due to staffing issues and driver-only operating trains (DOO), meaning that train drivers are the only member of staff on the train at any time.
The report found that DOO has created “‘no go areas’ for accessible rail travel at a total of 292 stations across Greater London and the south-east of England, representing over 11% of Britain’s stations.”
The four South East London stations previously mentioned are at the top of the list.
Currently, disabled passengers are offered alternative options to the ‘turn up and go’ policy.
This sees staff sent from other stations, dedicated ‘mobile staff’, taxis to the destination or to the nearest staffed station, and alternative journey plans, resulting in changes to arrival and departure times and even routes.
I for one won’t be able to travel without ticket offices, Passenger Assist and staff aboard trains and I’m far from being the only one
This cannot be allowed to continue and where it already applies, it needs to be totally reversed and NOW!!! https://t.co/OQpCXArt38
— Irene Henson (@IHenson17) November 22, 2022
The research comes after the ABC submitted research forms to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), demanding “they intervene in all six operators for breaches of equality law.”
They found that after years of “warnings from accessibility experts, train operators and the rail regulator have failed to establish any consistent or lawful mitigations for these discriminatory staffing policies.”
There are hopes that the EHRC will need to investigate and “apply its full legal weight to breaches of equality law by train operators” allowing disabled passengers to travel at ease.
You can see the full research via the website.