Disabled Letchworth resident told he can’t take mobility scooter on holiday

A DISABLED man who wanted to use his mobility scooter on holiday has been told he cannot transport it to his nearest accessible train station, despite it fitting into any taxi that would convey it.

Phillip Porter, of Highover Road, Letchworth GC, planned to use his scooter when travelling to Great Yarmouth on Saturday morning, but has been told by First Capital Connect (FCC) - which provides an assisted travel service - that it cannot be transported by taxi from his home to Royston Railway Station, the nearest station with disabled access.

The 47-year-old, who has been disabled for the last 14 years, has a scooter card which permits it to be conveyed on FCC trains but is now having to borrow a wheelchair which has a battery life that lasts three times less than the scooter, so he can still go on holiday.

His wife, Linda Porter, said: “It’s a load of rubbish as it goes in the back of the boot. It’s only 650 millimetres long.

“What is the point of having a scooter card if we can’t get it to an accessible station?”

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The 39-year-old added: “They said it’s my problem - I wish my husband wasn’t disabled but he is.

“It’s discrimination against the disabled.”

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A spokesman for FCC said: “We recognise the needs and concerns of disabled customers when using public transport and our goal is to provide a train and station network that is as accessible as possible.

“We carry wheelchairs in taxis, but like other train operators we cannot accommodate scooters in taxis as they are often very large and it is not possible to load them into a taxi.”

When asked why Mr Porter’s mobility scooter could not be transported as it does fit into a taxi, the spokesman added: “It’s difficult to comment as there are so many different types of scooter but if the customer wants to contact our customer service team they will look into that.”

Mrs Porter has contacted the customer services but transporting the mobility scooter by taxi has still been refused.

A campaign for disabled access at train stations in Baldock and Letchworth GC is ongoing.

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