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Rail firm to investigate after wheelchair space row

Rail firm to investigate after wheelchair space row
16th July 2018 developer

A comedian hit out at a train operator after she was “harassed and humiliated” for using a disabled space for her mobility scooter.

The BBC reported that Tanyalee Davis said a guard on a Great Western Railway (GWR) service threatened to call the police if she did not leave the space.

Ms Davis told the BBC the guard then made an announcement that she was “causing problems” which had delayed the train.

Canadian-born Ms Davis, 47, has a form of dwarfism and was travelling on the service from Plymouth to London one Sunday morning. She was heading home to Norwich after headlining at the Plymouth Comedy Club and was told to move from the unreserved space after a young mother asked to use it for a pram.

Ms Davis said she felt “personally and publicly humiliated” after the guard threatened to call the police.

She added: “He made an announcement saying that it was ‘the woman with the mobility scooter’ that was causing problems and that the train would be delayed indefinitely. It was humiliating and I cried for most of the journey home.”

Ms Davis’s partner, Kevin Bolden, filmed the incident on a mobile phone. GWR staff who saw the video were said to be “collectively horrified”.

In a video after the journey Ms Davis said: “I don’t know what it is about this country, they really make you feel disabled. Just because I use a mobility scooter it doesn’t make me a pariah, it doesn’t make me less disabled. I’m just trying to make a living, to make people laugh.”

A spokesman for GWR said an investigation would be carried out. He added: “We got it wrong, it made no sense. A wheelchair space is a wheelchair space, it’s not for luggage or pushchairs. The priority is really clear. Tanyalee should not have been asked to move.”

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