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Passenger Assistance on trains

(13 Posts)
Franbern Tue 20-Sep-22 08:36:17

Not sure this is the correct forum to be put this under. But I really to have to commend (and recommend), the wonderful Passenger Assistance Service I always get when travelling to visit my children and friends on trains.

I have used this for some years, but this last weekend, I used it- for the very first time, with a small electric folding wheelchair. Was a little concerned as I was requiring three trains each way go cover my journey from Somerset to Cheshire.

My phone call booking this, it was to complicated to do on line, was met with such kindness and empathy and all sorted out in no time. And, some changes to the trains was always notified to me very quickly by phone.

At first I was too nervous about staying in my wheelchair and going up and down the ramps, but then found that I could do this easily and comfortably, with the Assistance person being with me.

My journeys in both directions went brilliantly, and it was so lovely being totally independent at each of the inter-change stations. Most trains seem to have one carriage (the one with the accessible loo), where there is a wheelchair space, where I could 'park' my chair and then sit in a normal seat.

I cannot thank these people enough for all their help, always with a smile. They are all so lovely. If anyone else on GN, feels concern about travelling with a wheelchair, then please do not - it is great.

I am looking forward to my next journey to North East London, in October. Will then see how this all work also using the London Underground.

grandMattie Tue 20-Sep-22 08:43:00

It is so nice to get complimentary reports of good service. Well done, BR!
And thank you, Franbern, for commenting.
Perhaps we should carry on this complimentary thread.
In my case, I went to an M&S in Cardiff recently and was measured and fitted for bras in a matter of minutes, by a very nice assistant! (My previous experience trying to get measured etc., locally was less than satisfactory.)

Ashcombe Tue 20-Sep-22 08:43:13

What an uplifting post, Franbern! Thank you for writing such an encouraging contribution to help others with travel worries. Is it possible to notify the company involved of how well their staff are doing?

Good luck next time! 👍😀 🚇

vampirequeen Tue 20-Sep-22 08:45:20

I'm so glad you had good service. This is another reason why we need guards on the train. They are the people who take care of passengers just before and during the journey.

MawtheMerrier Tue 20-Sep-22 08:49:38

What an uplifting post Franbern. We too used to use Passenger Assistance regularly when Paw had hospital clinic appointments in London - often as frequently as one a week, and it made all the difference. On one occasion they even held the train because a last minute change of platform meant using the lift to go up and then down on the other side.
But to be able to maintain your independence is priceless.
I think you are very brave to attempt the underground though- I’d take a taxi!

Grammaretto Tue 20-Sep-22 08:56:11

I reported my excellent service on ScotRail to their website and received assurance that the people concerned would receive my thanks.
I had left my luggage on the first train on changing trains.
Thanks to the staff at every stage, I recovered my case the same day for no cost apart from a couple of hours.

Franbern Tue 20-Sep-22 09:03:28

Maw I would need to take out a mortgage to take a taxi from Paddington right across London to the Essex borders. It takes just two tube trains. I get on at Paddington, get the lift right down to platform, change at Mile end, when all I have to do is cross the platform to get Central Line train, and the station I get out is totally step free. So, really cannot see any problem. I may get out of my chair and free wheel it on to the tube if there is a large 'Mind the Gap'. ( At least I will get passenger assistance to do that for me), and I will just walk on and off.

infoman Thu 22-Sep-22 05:20:38

Not sure of your Somerset train station,
but if I were you AVOID London please.
There are direct trains from Taunton and Bristol to the North East(Darlington Durham and Newcastle) and its a cheaper route.
Let me know if you want any further info.
I could suggest using the plane from Exeter or Bristol,
if I am allowed too.

MawtheMerrier Thu 22-Sep-22 07:31:08

Franbern

Maw I would need to take out a mortgage to take a taxi from Paddington right across London to the Essex borders. It takes just two tube trains. I get on at Paddington, get the lift right down to platform, change at Mile end, when all I have to do is cross the platform to get Central Line train, and the station I get out is totally step free. So, really cannot see any problem. I may get out of my chair and free wheel it on to the tube if there is a large 'Mind the Gap'. ( At least I will get passenger assistance to do that for me), and I will just walk on and off.

Brilliant Franbern - step free access is of course the answer. And you know your tube stations.
In Paris last weekend I found (to my cost) that the Métro doesn’t really do stepfree access. I don’t use any mobility aids - but felt ready for one after all those steps!

Luckygirl3 Thu 22-Sep-22 08:31:43

Good to hear!

I walk with a stick but can pull myself on and off a train - what I cannot do is lift my luggage onto or off the train or stowage racks as I have had back surgery. Do they help with that?

Franbern Thu 22-Sep-22 08:35:04

infoman - why do you say avoid London.

Not with a wheelchair, but I have used Passenger Assistance going via Paddington for several Years. Always been very good and helpful - Paddington has those wonderful electric trucks which they use to take people with mobility problems round that large stations.

In the past I have only used P.Assistance on the underground or one journey. This cannot be booked in advance, as they have no way of knowing which carriage you will be on. I had arranged a visit to Weston super Mare, staying with my daughter there, flat hunting. Then I had a very bad accident, stress fracture in my back - was really worried about that journey. However, all went extremely well. Underground TFL assistance put on each tube, phoned ahead to station I was changing, etc and was met and helped off, my small suitcase carried each time. At Paddington they handed me on to PAssistance for the trains.

I am fortunate in that the station at Weston super Mare, where I now live, is step free. My travels are to visit my AC So, Warrington, NE London, and Brighton/Eastbourne.

Ashcombe Fri 30-Sep-22 20:17:26

I think infoman must have thought you meant the North East, rather than North East London.

welbeck Fri 30-Sep-22 20:59:24

no need to avoid public transport in london.
here is an example why; tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/learn-to-use-public-transport