17 April 2014
Arriva Wales Discrimination Claim Investigated
A train company is investigating claims that a disabled man was prevented from travelling on one of its trains because of overcrowding.
According to the BBC, Colin Williams, from Welshpool, claims a guard refused to let him on board a train to Shrewsbury because it was full. But, speaking to the BBC, Mr Williams said other passengers were allowed to board the train and the staff member did not lower the ramp for his wheelchair.
Mr Williams has cerebral palsy and has to use a wheelchair to travel. The 41-year-old was travelling to see a friend perform at a music festival and missed the event because he was not allowed onto the train.
"I asked for the ramp to help me get on the train but the guard told me there was no room on the train for me," he said. "I would have been quite happy to travel in the aisle with other people because the journey to Shrewsbury only takes about 20 minutes. As far as I am aware I was the only passenger that didn't get on that train."
Mr Williams has since called on Arriva Wales to apologise.
A spokesperson for the travel company said he was sorry to hear about the case. The firm has since launched an investigation into whether the disabled man might have been discriminated against.
Rhyan Berrigan, Disability Wales' transport policy officer, said it was clear that the guard was not following the correct procedures. Mr Berrigan urged Arriva Wales to ensure all staff are made aware of policies regarding disabled people so that similar issues are avoided in the future.
It is unclear whether Arriva Wales has made a full apology to Mr Williams, or whether he has launched a disability discrimination compensation claim to get redress for the stress the situation may have put him under.
Companies in the UK are not allowed to refuse service because of a customer's disability.
By Francesca Witney
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