Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Getting it wrong

Should a passenger with a disability have to give notice ahead of time just to to take a commuter route train? David Griffiths, chief executive of disabled advocacy group ECAS doesn't think so. Especially grating to Griffiths was that on some First ScotRail lines a wheelchair user would have to occupy the space that the bike rack ordinarily does. To accommodate the wheelchair the rack has to be removed, which requires tools, hence the request for notice. "It makes me angry as it is totally wrong. The wheelchair space should be free at all times. It is completely morally wrong that a cyclist comes first," Griffiths said. "Other trains don't share their bike rack space with wheelchair users. Disabled people are meant to be inclusive in our society but here they are being put alongside bikes. Its outrageous." A First ScotRail spokesman said the rail company did not discriminate, but emphasized the advance notice request and suggested it was standard in the industry. "Our customers take precedence over cycles, which will be removed for wheelchair users," the spokesman said. I'm with Griffiths. Needing to make advance notice to use commuter transportation doesn't count as accessible.


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