Liberal Democrat Party President Sal Brinton and MP Tom Brake have welcomed news that Govia Thameslink has withdrawn its unlawful guidance for dealing with disabled passengers, but warned greater enforcement is needed.
Speaking in the House of Lords, Baroness Brinton condemned guidance issued by Govia Thameslink that stated “if a train might be delayed or late, the PRM [persons who are disadvantaged with reduced mobility] must not be put on the train".
At Sal Brinton’s urging, the Lord Young of Cookham accepted the guidance was “insensitive and unacceptable” and confirmed Thames Govia has now withdrawn it.
Following the exchange, Sal Brinton said:
“Disabled access is a lifeline link for disabled people to get to work, travel and meet family and friends.
“However, as has happened to many of us, all too often transport providers treat disabled people as second class citizens by not providing the service they are required to under the law. It can be deeply distressing and is a real barrier to working and travelling independently.
“Disabled access should never be an afterthought, but a priority. Transport providers must live up to their duty of care.
“It is high time train operating companies were held to account for their legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure every legal measure is taken to provide access for disabled passengers.”