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1  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: Yesterday at 11:16:10 am
On a one-off booking? Sorry, but that's just not realistically feasible....if there's a *regular* problem with insufficient provision, completely agree, but if there's one problem in say a couple of months, then it's for the train company on receipt of the booking to handle in any appropriate way. And that might be to convey some by other means/services, depending on requirements.

There's no discrimination here - if a train is full to bursting, for example, all passengers can't be carried.
2  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: Yesterday at 10:31:59 am
For sure, the number of accesible spaces allowed for in car parks is way over the number required generally.

But accessible spaces/seating on trains? I'm sure that those representing passengers with need for these spaces would have poked their heads above the parapet if this was a general problem of being insufficient.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Smoke and Mirrors / Re: A rail ombudsman - suggested role manifesto on: Yesterday at 09:49:13 am
It'll be interesting to see how this is going to work.

I'm guessing that the customer would have to go via Transport Focus (TF) initially, as now, before either self-referral to the ombudsman if TF either cannot resolve to customer's satisfaction, or at all. Or only if TF recommends it....otherwise the number of referrals from customers (especially in this current climate) will make the estimate of 6,000 referrals a year look minuscule!

This is the RDG's press release

Quote
Rail industry appoints first ombudsman to improve complaints procedure for customers


Rail industry appoints ‘Dispute Resolution Ombudsman’ to rule on complaints as part of the rail industry’s plan to change and improve.

Working on behalf of train operators and Network Rail, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has appointed Dispute Resolution Ombudsman to establish the first ombudsman for the rail industry to rule on customer complaints. The independent body, which already provides an ombudsman service for other industries, will have the power to hold train companies to account.

Last October, as part of the industry’s joint plan to change and improve, rail companies committed to creating a rail ombudsman to further build confidence in services. The accessible and free to use rail ombudsman service will launch in November and it will cover rail journeys throughout Britain.

Customers that are unhappy with the outcomes of their complaints to rail companies will be able to refer them to be formally ruled on by experts in consumer rights, giving customers greater confidence that they will get a fair hearing. Decisions by the ombudsman will be binding and rail companies will have to take action if failings are identified.  The appointment follows a competitive procurement process.

Rail Minister, Jo Johnson, said:

“When train companies fall short, it is vital that passengers get the redress they deserve and are treated with respect

“This is an important step by the industry - an independent and effective ombudsman, working closely with consumer groups, will ensure passengers get a fair deal and give them a stronger voice. And it will also help the rail companies to improve their service to passengers.”

Jacqueline Starr, Managing Director of Customer Experience at the Rail Delivery group, said:

“Rail companies have worked together to appoint the first rail ombudsman to help us deliver on the commitment set out in our long-term plan to increase customer satisfaction and remain the highest rated major railway in Europe.”

The new scheme builds on the successful passenger advocacy carried out by Transport Focus and London TravelWatch over many years.  The new ombudsman will have the power to make redress decisions that will be binding on train operating companies.

Train Operating Companies and Network Rail are supporting the ombudsman, reflecting their commitment to improve services for customers.

Kevin Grix, Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman at the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, said:

“We are delighted to be appointed the Ombudsman for Rail and are looking forward to launching our service in November 2018. With our legal foundation and decades of experience providing alternative dispute resolution to some of the UK’s most recognised retailers we are well placed to support future improvement in the rail sector.”

The new ombudsman is part of the railway’s plan to change and improve. Working in partnership, the industry’s long-term plan will secure £85 billion of additional economic benefit, increase customer satisfaction, boost local communities and create more and better jobs in rail.

4  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Information systems - still not providing customer with best journey on: Yesterday at 09:06:15 am
Yes, I use Google Maps pretty much consistently. Where it offers options, I've never found them to be wrong.
5  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: July 18, 2018, 02:58:02 pm
hmmm, pram owners don't have any rights to any space unless they reserve it....as I understand it
6  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: July 18, 2018, 01:40:35 pm
yep,yep& yep.

If you check out the video on the BBC link above, you've see that hers is one of the smaller types around & appears to easily fit those dimensions.
7  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: July 18, 2018, 12:24:39 pm
Hmmm - GWR wouldn't allow those seats by the disabled space to be reserved except by someone needing to use such space - they have to be booked as I understand, by contacting GWR's booking line direct & won't be issued by ticket booking engines.

How someone with a pram could book them I'd like to understand, as the way things *should* work, the pram owner would have had to tell an untruth to obtain those seats.
8  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: July 18, 2018, 11:47:21 am
there's more here

Quote
Disabled comedian Tanyalee Davis has criticised train company Great Western
Railway after she was “harassed and shamed” in a row over her mobility
scooter on a journey from Plymouth to London.
 
Tanyalee, who is just 3ft 6ins tall and uses the scooter to get around, found
herself in a beef with a young mother and train staff when she put her
scooter into a space reserved for wheelchair users.
 
The comedian, and her partner Kevin Bolden, were asked to move from their
seats when the woman got onto the train and wanted to put a pram into the
wheelchair space.
 
The train was halted at Taunton and Tanyalee said an announcement was made
saying the police had been called and that she was holding up the train’s
progress “indefinitely”.
 
She said she was made to feel “shamed” and “embarrassed” and blamed
for a 20-minute delay which caused passengers, including herself, to miss
their connections.
 
“It was such a horrific experience,” she said.
 
The Canadian has posted a video on social media where, tears streaming down
her face, she criticises GWR and the country for the way disabled people are
treated.
 
“I cried for most of the journey and I’m sick of this,” she said. “I
have this all the time.
 
“Just because I have a mobility scooter doesn’t make me a pariah.”
 
She added: “I don’t know what it is about this country – they really
make you feel disabled.”
 
GWR has said it wants to talk to Tanyalee about the incident but stressed it
should not have arisen and that “no one travelling with us should be left
feeling like this.”
 
Tanyaleehad headlined Plymouth Comedy Club
(https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/3ft-6ins-comic-says-gets-1772535), at
Plymouth Athenaeum, to rapturous applause on Saturday evening, July 14.
 
She was travelling back to the capital on Sunday morning, July 15, after
staying over in the city at the Derry’s Cross Travelodge.
 
Tanyalee, who has appeared on top-rated TV shows Live at the Apollo and The
Last Leg, bases much of her act around her short stature and is also a
campaigner for disabled people and against bullying.
 
She said the train did not have a disabled carriage and she had not reserved
a wheelchair space because of difficulties doing this online.
 
She placed her scooter in the empty wheelchair space in the first class
carriage and Kevin sat in an unreserved space opposite.
 
Tanyalee said there was no problem until the train left a station, possibly
Exeter, about an hour into the journey.
 
“A woman got on and there was all this commotion,” she said.
 
Tanyalee said the woman wanted to put her pram into the wheelchair space
occupied by her scooter.
 
She said a member of the train’s staff told her to “fold up the
scooter” but she said that was not practical and, in any case, “why
should I?”
 
Tanyalee said the woman with the baby then asked Kevin to vacate “her”
seat, even though it was not reserved.
 
“She kicked up a fit,” she said. “She had to have that space. It all
got escalated and he (train staff) said ‘fine, I’m calling the police’.
 
“The train stopped at Taunton and he made an announcement over the tannoy
saying it was the woman with the mobility scooter that was causing problems
and we would be delayed indefinitely.”
 
Tanyalee moved her scooter out of the carriage and Kevin left his seat.
 
But she kept having to shift the vehicle throughout the journey so it did not
block doors and she said the train staff “kept bringing it up” by
reminding passengers she was the cause of the delay.
 
“I as so embarrassed,” she said.
 
She said other passengers offered to help her but stressed the issues was
having to move her scooter.
 
“Fine if it was another wheelchair, if it had been booked, I’ve been in
that position – but it was a baby pram,” she said.
 
And the young mum involved in the incident even apologised to Tanyalee and
said: “She said she felt really bad, and I think she genuinely did.”
 
Tanyalee, who has a form of dwarfism called diastrophic dysplasia, is an
outspoken critic of the way disabled people are treated in the UK.
 
She said she is regularly harassed pointed at and even grabbed, particularly
when she is out at night on her scooter following gigs.
 
She is now the director of the anti-bullying charity Gr8 As U R, which has
been working with young people to build their self-confidence.
 
“I’m just trying to make a living, just trying to make people laugh,”
she said.
 
Tanyalee said the Plymouth Comedy Club show had been a huge hit and she had a
lovely time in the city.
 
“Plymouth is lovely,” she said. “I really enjoyed it. Brian Cross and
Kevin Brooker (Comedy Club organisers) were great hosts.
 
“I was by the water after the show and it was great.”
 
A GWR spokesman said: “No one travelling with us should be left feeling
like this.
 
“This should not have happened, and we are attempting to contact Tanyalee
so we can look into this further.”

and the BBC report which contains some of the video she has uploaded to the internet

Quote
A comedian has hit out at a train operator after she was "harassed and humiliated" for using a disabled space for her mobility scooter.

Tanyalee Davis said a guard on a Great Western Railway (GWR) service threatened to call the police if she did not leave the space.

Ms Davis said the guard then made an announcement that she was "causing problems" which had delayed the train.

GWR said staff who saw the video were "collectively horrified".

Canadian-born Ms Davis, 47, who has a form of dwarfism, was travelling on the 11:00 service from Plymouth to London on Sunday with her partner, Kevin Bolden, who filmed the incident on a mobile phone.

She was told to move from the unreserved space after a young mother asked to use it for a pram.

Ms Davis, who lives in Norwich, said she felt "personally and publicly humiliated" after the guard threatened to call the police.

"He made an announcement... saying that it was 'the woman with the mobility scooter' that was causing problems and that the train would be delayed indefinitely," she said.

"It was humiliating and I cried for most of the journey home," she said.

Ms Davis had been travelling back to Norfolk after headlining the Plymouth Comedy Club on Saturday.

n a tearful video after the journey, she said: "I don't know what it is about this country, they really make you feel disabled.

"Just because I use a mobility scooter it doesn't make me a pariah, it doesn't make me less disabled".

"I'm just trying to make a living, to make people laugh," she added.

Dan Panes, from GWR, said a team from the train company had watched Ms Davis' video and were "collectively horrified".

"We got it wrong, it made no sense. A wheelchair space is a wheelchair space, it's not for luggage or pushchairs," he admitted.

"The priority is really clear. Tanyalee should not have been asked to move."

He confirmed that an investigation is under way - but did not say if any action would be taken against the train guard involved.

9  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: July 17, 2018, 04:07:52 pm
in response to BNM's post....

Absolutely.....maybe GWR need to assess mobility scooters (by definition aids mobility - ie not requiring a wheelchair as they have some mobility, and motorised wheelchairs which are what they say on the tin.
10  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: July 17, 2018, 03:28:54 pm
My problem was Chris, your attitude towards customers is generally so contemptuous that  thinking you were true to form in this case was an all too easy conclusion to jump to, but I'm happy to be corrected......and in such a charming way! 😂

Thank you - maybe you've learned not to jump to quick conclusions....
11  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: July 17, 2018, 02:34:12 pm
Just go and read that again, will you? You might actually get a life.

Less than zero = negative sympathy (for the TM, you wazzock)
12  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC News 17th July 2018 on: July 17, 2018, 01:53:11 pm
Can one have less than zero sympathy?
13  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Stay at home Sunday on: July 13, 2018, 05:06:49 pm
Here's the full press release.....

Quote
Dear Chris

e have just issued the media release below and are emailing customers who we know are planning to travel on Sunday to give them advance notice of a revised timetable.  I wanted you to be aware, in case you were travelling, and to spread the message as widely as we could.

We would much rather operate our full timetable, but having assessed the situation, we think it is better to consolidate and offer customers advance warning of the changes, rather than aim to run all our services and find we have to make cancellations on the day.    We are working now to cover as many trains as possible and the revised timetable will be available from our website tomorrow.

Please do let me know if you have any queries or questions, I will make sure we check the inbox over the weekend to provide a prompt reply.

Mark

Press release

Friday 13 July
Train operator warns of significant disruption this Sunday

Great Western Railway is warning customers of significant disruption to services this coming Sunday and has lifted ticket restrictions to enable people to travel before the disruption hits.

Due to a number of factors including on-going engineering work; the World Cup Final taking place; the continuing good weather, and the start of the school holidays in some regions, there is a reduced number of available staff.

GWR is advising customers planning to travel on long distance intercity services on Sunday 15 July that a revised timetable will be in place with a significantly reduced number of trains in operation. Long-distance services – including routes between Paddington and Bristol, South Wales, Oxford and Devon and Cornwall will be most affected, with some changes to suburban services in the West. Trains that do run will be extremely busy.

Local stopping services in the Thames Valley are expected to run as normal.

Passengers are advised to travel as early as possible, and to consider switching their travel plans to alternate days. To help with this, ticket restrictions have been removed from services on Saturday 14 and Monday 16 July, so that customers with tickets for Sunday, including Advance fixed train tickets can travel on other services. Ticket acceptance has also been agreed with CrossCountry trains.

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:
“We will have managers and volunteers throughout our network to help at stations and on board, but unfortunately we will not be able to deliver our planned timetable of services; and the trains we are able to operate will be extremely busy.

“I would encourage customers to travel on a different day if they are able to and we will happily offer refunds to those who choose not to travel.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience this disruption will cause.”

Full details of the revised timetable will be available online from Saturday 14 July for customers to check journeys before they travel.

Those who choose not to travel will be entitled to a full refund on their unused ticket (the GWR £10 administration fee is also waivered). To claim a refund please click here.
14  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: National Infrastructure Commission - report issued on: July 11, 2018, 09:30:32 am
Which chapter covers rail? Plenty I can see on roads (with its own chapter no less, but rail?
15  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: National Infrastructure Commission - report issued on: July 11, 2018, 09:19:54 am
And on days like the last couple of weeks with no wind to speak of?
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