SHRIMP asks how disabled people (be that physical, sensory or other) can get on / off a driver-only operated (DOO) train at an unstaffed station.
Moreover, what happens when platforms are shorter than trains, or trains split en-route?
The question becomes more relevant as more of the transport network, both local and national, moves to DOO services and staffing at stations decreases (no matter how these changes are dressed up).
DOO stands for Driver Only Operation = no conductors.
In theory, but not always in practice, disabled people can book assistance in advance. But that system can a) readily go awry b) creates a two-tier system where disabled people cannot use the transport network on a turn-up-and-go basis.
SHRIMP notes and applauds that the TUC Disability Conference (London 19th /20th May) 100% endorsed motions that the transport network should be accessible for all and should be funded accordingly.
Indeed, SHRIMP was fortunate in that Martin was an official delegate at the conference and contributed to that debate.
A railway that may be ‘safe’ operationally is not necessarily ‘safe’ for disabled people. In the 21st century our transport network should be accessible and safe for all.