Cancer patient's anger after being abandoned on mobility scooter at Newtown Station

Reporter:

Owain Farrington

A CANCER patient on a mobility scooter was abandoned at Newtown Station when the train left without him, despite Arriva Trains Wales staff acknowledging him on the platform.

John Gwilym Edwards, of Newtown, was waiting for the 9.40am train to Welshpool on October 18 and when the train arrived he rode up to the door with his ticket already bought.

He said: “The doors opened and the conductor got out looked back along the train and watched the other passengers get on the train. 

“I just sat there waiting patiently for assistance.

“When all the other passengers were on the train the conductor turned back to the train said ‘morning’ to me and blew his whistle, pressed a button, closed the doors and off went the train leaving me there on the platform.”

Mr Edwards was distressed by the incident which caused him to miss a hospital appointment, he said he felt degraded, upset and angry.

This is not the first time Mr Edwards has been left behind by Arriva, on June 1, a return trip from a visit to Barmouth saw him stuck in Machynlleth.

As the train cut down to two carriages at the Machynlleth stop, the smaller train did not have enough room for Mr Edwards and his mobility scooter, he was compensated with rail vouchers.

Arriva Trains Wales are now conducting a full investigation into the Newtown incident.

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have received Mr Edwards’ complaint and a full investigation is underway into what happened.

“The complaint is being dealt with as a matter of urgency and once the investigation has been concluded our customer services department will be in touch with Mr Edwards.

“We are committed to making the rail network fully inclusive and accessible to all, and work closely with industry partners, Network Rail and Transport Focus, along with representative action groups to improve and consult on all areas of our operation to ensure that we do as much as we can to improve access to our facilities and services, and to raise confidence levels.”

Mr Edwards added: “The stress I was put under by the treatment of the staff of Arriva Trains is the last thing I need at this time. 

“I have enough to worry about without being treated as low-life and being discriminated against.

“Having worked with people with disabilities all my life, until I retired, I can only say I am shocked by the attitude of Arriva Trains and the attitude of the staff.”

See full story in the County Times

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