Press Release: Learning disabilities Ambassador wins apology from Southern Rail

Disabled campaigner refused ramp at Warrior Square station

St Leonards-based campaigner Daniel Randall-Nason, a trustee of learning disabilities charity Stay Up Late and one of their Ambassadors, has won an apology from Southern Rail after a guard refused to put the disability access ramp out for him at St Leonards Warrior Square Station, even though he had pre-booked it.

Daniel has a physical disability as well as a learning disability and needs to use the ramp to access the train safely. Attempting to board a train on 14th May the guard refused to let Daniel use the ramp saying it was “too dangerous” for him. After clambering aboard Daniel calmly rang Customer Services on his mobile to complain and got them to speak to the guard directly but he still refused to allow the ramp to be used and said he didn’t want people telling him how to do his job. Daniel gave Southern Rail Customer Services all the relevant details who investigated the complaint for him.

Daniel, who was on his way to speak at a conference in Leatherhead, commented, “I felt really badly treated on the day and I am pleased Southern Rail have now apologised. I need to use the ramp because of my disability. Whilst most guards have been really friendly and helpful this one was not. Southern Rail need to train all of their staff properly so this doesn’t happen again.”

In a letter to Daniel  from Gurmit Koor at Southern Rail Customer Services, the company states:

Further to our telephone conversation of the 15th May 2019 regarding the failed assistance at St Leonards Warrior Square, and on behalf of Southern Rail, please accept my apology that the assistance which you had pre-booked was not provided.

I can confirm that the details of your complaint were forwarded to the relevant management teams for investigation, by my colleague on the day we received you call.

As a gesture of goodwill please find enclosed National Rail vouchers to the value of £19.20, which I am informed was the cost of the ticket purchased for travel.

Once again thank you for contacting us and for the opportunity to investigate the incident.

Darren Johnson, Stay Up Late’s Campaigns Co-ordinator, who was travelling with Daniel on the day in question, added, “Daniel is a real credit to our charity. In spite of rudeness and a total lack of co-operation from the guard, Daniel was undeterred and calmly called Customer Services directly from the train to report the incident.  Southern Rail need to ensure incidents like this never occur again on one of their trains.”

Notes to Editors:

Stay Up Late is a registered charity based in Brighton committed to promoting the rights of people with learning disabilities to live the lifestyle of their choosing. They run the successful Gig Buddies project.

More information: Contact Darren Johnson on 07305 876 188 or email Darren@stayuplate.org

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