A wheelchair user is calling on train companies to do better after he says he was left stranded on a platform in Milton Keynes and told to wait in the heat after his train was cancelled. You can watch him describe the incident below:
Former rugby player Chris Nicholson was travelling to London for a MyProtein fitness event on Friday (17 June) when he learned his connecting train from Milton Keynes was cancelled, meaning he needed to change platforms to catch an alternative.
In a series of posts made on Instagram, Chris claimed the lift on his platform was out of order and therefore customers had to use the stairs in order to change platforms.
However, as Avanti West Coast staff said they were unable to help Nicholson due to health and safety reasons, he was told he would have to remain on the platform for four to five hours while a train was rerouted to accommodate him.
If he had been able to get to the other platform, Chris would have been able to catch a train in 40 minutes.
There were no disabled toilets on the platform, and as he got more desperate Chris decided to take matters into his own hands and drag his bags, wheelchair and himself up two flights stairs to try and reach the other platform.
The fitness enthusiast explained: "Because of health and safety reasons, that [staff] would be liable, they couldn't do the decent human thing and help me."
A member of the public came to help Chris carry his wheelchair when he saw what was going on, and the assistant station manager is said to have eventually ignored the instructions and helped Chris with his bags.
In a post on his Instagram Story, Chris later described the ordeal as 'one of the worst days in a long time'.
He went on: "These companies, different transportation facilities whether it be an airline, train company, whoever, they all should have things in place to support those with varying disabilities.
"There should be things in place to support everybody, not just the majority."
In an update posted in the wake of the events, Chris said Avanti had agreed to 'have a chat' with him and their disability and accessibility lead. Though he described this response as 'great', Chris said we 'need to do more than that because it's not fair for someone to be in that situation'.
In response to Chris' allegations, a spokesperson for Avanti West Coast Spokesman told LADbible the company had been made aware of the incident and were 'sorry to hear about the customer's experience'.
A spokesperson said: "We have since been in contact with the customer - who has arrived at their destination safely last night.
"We are also liaising with London North Western Railway – the Train Operating Company responsible for managing Milton Keynes station – as they investigate the circumstances of what happened."
LADbible has contacted London North Western Railway for a comment.
Featured Image Credit: chrisnicholson12/Instagram