Staffing cuts across the rail industry – forced on train companies by the government – are damaging the rights of disabled passengers to catch trains without having to book assistance in advance, according to campaigners. The user-led accessible transport charity Transport for All (TfA) said the Department for Transport (DfT) was embedding such cuts in rail franchise agreements with train companies, making it even harder for disabled and older people who need assistance to board and disembark trains to travel “spontaneously”. Two representatives of the rail industry appeared to agree that the government was to blame and had forced the staffing cuts on train-operating companies – affecting station and on-board staff – although one of them later appeared to backtrack on that claim. Faryal Velmi, TfA’s director, told Tuesday’s Pan London Mobility Forum: “‘Turn up and go’ is not rocket science. “We are living in one of the richest cities, in one of the richest countries in the world.” She

Source: Industry and government fight over blame for damage to ‘turn up and go’ rail rights | DisabledGo News and Blog