Disabled woman criticises “unprofessional” Stevenage train staff


- Credit: Archant

A disabled woman has criticised a train operator for its “ridiculously unprofessional” support service.

Carole Pont pre-booked First Capital Connect staff to assist her in using the lifts at Stevenage railway station earlier this month.

The 50-year-old, who is registered disabled and suffers from idiopathic osteoporosis, was travelling to London for a hip operation.

She told the Comet that no members of staff arrived to help her – forcing her to use the stairs and almost making her late for the 6am train she had to catch.

The incident follows a similar case in April in which a disabled woman was denied access to the lifts at the same station.

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Mrs Pont said: “It’s just so frustrating because it just makes you feel like they don’t care – what’s the point in offering services you can’t provide?

“I think that it is ridiculously unprofessional and that some serious changes need to be made to stop this from happening to anyone else.

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“It simply isn’t fair on those who rely on other people for help – it really needs to be looked in to.”

A spokesman for FCC said: “This is not acceptable and we are very sorry for what happened to Mrs Pont. Heading to hospital for an operation is stressful enough as it is without finding that the assistance she had booked was not waiting for her. We are sending Mrs Pont a full refund and examining what went wrong. The rail industry is proud of its free assisted travel helpline which gives people with mobility issues access on the railway they would otherwise not enjoy.”

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