UK Apology to disabled passengers for 'distress' during Victoria works last minute news
PremierLeague-News.Com- Network Rail's north west route has entered into a legally binding agreement to prevent discrimination
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Railway bosses have said they are 'deeply sorry' after passengers with disabilities had to drag themselves up stairs as lifts were being replaced at Manchester Victoria station. Network Rail has now promised to consult disabled passengers and groups in future ahead of any refurbishment work. The Manchester Evening News told how one passenger, Julian Sorfleet, faced a 20 minute wait for a stair walker, a motorised trolley on tracks that helps wheelchair users up and down stairs, to arrive. When it did it didn't work, and he dragged himself up steps to access a platform. The Equality and Human Rights Commission, the country's independent equality body, said Network Rail failed to complete a disability impact assessment and consult with disabled passengers or groups to determine whether arrangements to replace the lifts in 2019 were appropriate. Mr Sorfleet and the motorised stair walker As a result, Network Rail's north west route has now entered into a legally binding agreement to prevent discrimination against disabled people, it's been revealed. Equality bosses said impacts on the disabled or those with mobility issues could be 'disastrous' if their needs aren't considered by public transport chiefs during periods of refurbishment. Sign up to the free MEN email newsletter Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here Phil James, Network Rail's north west route director, said: "Lack of available lift engineers led to us closing all three lifts at the same time during this work. "This was the wrong thing to do and we are deeply sorry for the distress and inconvenience this caused mobility-assisted passengers. "We've learnt from this and have worked collaboratively with the EHRC to put plans in place to consult with mobility-assisted passengers in advance of any future accessibility improvements at North West stations." The stair walker carrying Julian's wheelchair as he dragged himself (Image: Julian Sorfleet) Alastair Pringle, EHRC executive director, said: "For many people, public transport can be your gateway to the world. "It may well be how you get to school or work. "It may be how you go to hospital or how you visit friends and family. "This is why transport operators have clear responsibilities in law to ensure travel is just as possible for disabled people as for everyone else.
News source = PremierLeague-News.Com
. "By signing this agreement, Network Rail has committed to improve its efforts to protect disabled people from discrimination when carrying out improvement works in stations, and we hope it prevents anyone experiencing the upsetting scenes at Manchester Victoria. "As we emerge from lockdown, as we see further measures put in place to support social distancing, we need to ensure that the idea of equal access to travel is at the heart of planning for all public transport providers. "We must ensure that no one gets left behind." At the time, the M.E.N. highlighted the plight of Mr Sorfleet, then 51, who travelled to the station from Wigan to meet his dad. When he secured his wheelchair onto the motorised walker it would not move because the weight of Julian and his wheelchair together became too heavy.
Manchester Victoria (Image: MEN Media) He resorted to shuffling up the stairs on his bum. Julian said: "It took me over half an hour to do the flight of stairs up and has not only embarrassed me, as there were loads of people passing by, and watching and one person appeared to be taking either a photo or video of the situation." "It beggars belief how disabled people are meant to manage as I can't be the only person that this has happened to or will happen to again." The work, which led to the closure of all three of the station's lifts, was part of a major lift upgrade at Manchester Victoria.