Monday 21st May 2018 marks the first day of the new Govia Thameslink (GTR) timetable.
Buying a ticket means you have entered into a contract with the GTR. That contract is the same contract for all those who purchase a ticket. Your chosen train will deliver you to your chosen destination at the time agreed upon. The GTR however deems that it has the right to refuse access, remove passengers or alter their mode of transport provided these passengers are of reduced mobility. PRMs according to the GTR, Disabled people according to the rest of humanity. Not because the individual is obnoxious. Not because the individual is dangerous. But because the GTR holds Speed, Efficiency and Shareholder’s Profits supreme.
Wheelchair using passengers can be dumped at will on the altar of Speed and Efficiency. People who become ill during a journey have the right to be taken to the nearest safe stop and not just to the next stop on the journey. Leaving a wheelchair using passenger on an unmanned station is not professional.
If you are disabled your journey can be disrupted for no more reason then that the GTR cannot ensure a decent level of staffing and is committed to the Driver Only Operations (DOO) of the train. No second member of staff is assured on any journey since the introduction of DOO. This is a logistical nightmare that they are trying to cover up by offering up the freedom to travel of disabled people. Disabled people are individuals who purchase tickets just like any other traveller, not objects to be transported at will.
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and the Association of British Commuters (ABC) are taking the lead in protest against this highly discriminatory time table. The first protest will be held at London Bridge Station on 21st May at 5pm