Mum forced to carry son with cerebral palsy up flight of stairs when station staff refused access to stair lift because they thought wheelchair was a BUGGY
Joanne Lang visited Colchester, Essex, when she and her partner tried to use a stair lift to get their son Evan up a large flight of stairs.Staff denied them use of the lift as Joanne said they claimed the three-year-old’s specialised wheelchair was a buggy.Evan has cerebral palsy and needs to use a wheelchair, so Joanne and Brian were shocked when staff at the station would not help.Joanne was forced to carry her screaming son up the large flight of stairs while other passengers looked on.
The mum-of-two from Chelmsford, Essex, complained to train operator Greater Anglia and the firm has now blamed the distressing incident on a misunderstanding, saying the chair lift was not suitable for all types of wheelchairs.She said: “It really was awful – Evan was screaming his head off and the whole thing was upsetting and unnecessary.“It was humiliating – everyone was looking to see what was going on.“When I have told my friends, they have all been appalled about what happened.“My husband went up and asked the attendant for help but almost straight away the man said ‘no, you’ve not got a wheelchair – that’s a buggy’.“He tried to explain that Evan has cerebral palsy and that this is the specialist type of chair which he uses.““I was forced to carry him to the top of the stairs.
The guy was still saying to me, even then, that the wheelchair was a buggy,” she added.Station bosses have blamed the unfortunate incident, earlier this month, on a misunderstanding, saying the stairlift was not suitable for all types of wheelchair.A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said: “We have been in correspondence with Mrs Lang about her experience at Colchester station.“We have apologised to her and offered to reimburse her tickets.“It is very unusual for complaints to be made about these members of staff as they have an excellent record of helping all customers and it is more usual to receive praise for them.“We have fully investigated it and, in this case, there appears to have been a misunderstanding.“All other passengers are advised to use the lifts and use the completely step-free access on the south side of the station. If they need further assistance, such as taxis, our staff will arrange for them to meet them on that side of the station.”