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New GTR Guidance Neglects Disabled Passengers

Posted in General News on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

The train timetables at all Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) stations have recently been changed. On Sunday 20th May every schedule for Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Greater Northern trains was altered in an effort to improve the efficiency of the services heading to the capital. This means that there are now 400 more trains per day and new services taking passengers directly into central London from a further 80 stations. While these changes will benefit a number of passengers by making train journeys faster and more efficient, disabled passengers could be set to lose out. GTR has recently issued new guidance to station staff, along with the schedule changes, telling them not to assist disabled passengers in boarding the train if it is going to cause delays in the service. The Rail Maritime Transport Union (RMT) General Secretary, Mick Cash, expressed his concerns over this. He said: “I cannot believe, in this day and age, we are telling staff to ignore the needs of disabled people if the time it will take to deploy a ramp and assist them on to the train will cause a delay.” While the company did not deny that this guidance had been issued to members of staff, a GTR spokesperson commented: “Our policy remains the same which is to offer assistance to all passengers to help them with their journeys. We have a responsibility to make sure each service leaves on time to avoid knock-on delays, skipped station stops and cancellations to other services which would affect thousands of other passengers, many of whom may also be disabled.”

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