One of the main stories that has been popping up in the news lately is about the ongoing strikes being conducted by Southern Rail staff over pay. This has led to infighting between MPs and transport ministers and has affected the customers using Southern Rail. This disruption has created irregular train timetabling and in turn has led to commuters not being to get to work on time.
Among other issues, one significant point is that on Southern Rail services, there is a lack of disabled access meaning that many routes across the South do not cater for wheelchair users. This coupled with overcrowding of trains makes it virtually impossible for people with disabilities to get on the services. Public transport should serve every member of the public regardless of their impairments.
These concerns have been echoed on other rail networks with many passengers being left in the dark. Issues such as year-on-year ticket price increases and services being cut increase the profits of the large corporations who own the rail services. In addition due to new train carriages being commissioned with higher step ups, access is becoming more difficult for customers with disabilities as well as mums with pushchairs.
One of the products we offer is the LP11, a Guldmann product that can be stored on the platform and then rolled out as and when it is needed. This product has a maximum travel of 1 metre and can take a maximum load of 300 kg. This portable lift only needs one person to operate it and means that disabled passengers or mums with pushchairs can get on and off trains quickly and safely. This is an easy solution to a complex problem that rail services have created for themselves. Rail networks cannot cope with the increased demand and so have cut corners and have disregarded their namesake of public transport as they leave many members of the public out in the cold.
Our products are used throughout Europe by large railway companies such as SNCF in France, DSB in Denmark and RENFE in Spain. It is difficult to see why British rail companies haven’t followed suit as, in the long term, with more disabled customers using their services, they would increase their profits. British rail companies need to wake up and actually face their problems rather than this petty squabbling that has been seen week in, week out this entire year.