Disabled commuters rally behind court case after ‘bearing brunt’ of Southern Rail chaos

Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

A disabled and older people’s charity has written letters in support of a court case seeking a judicial review into the Department of Transport’s handling of Southern Rail following the chaos caused by rail strikes months back.

The quest for the judicial review is being led by the Association of British Commuters (ABC), which is redoubling its efforts after initially being refused permission by a judge. The initial grounds of the case focused on government accountability around transport police and equality of disabled access.

Now Transport for All is supporting ABC’s push for a judicial review and has written to the court in hope of adding momentum to the commuter group’s campaign.

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Catherine Smith, outreach officer at Transport for All told the Sussex Express: “It’s shameful that disabled passengers have been allowed to bear the brunt of Southern Rail’s failures. We have the same right to travel as everybody else, but GTR’s management has left many disabled people locked out of our rail network. This case is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that disabled people’s voices are heard – and to ensure that our railways are accessible to everyone.”

The campaign is looking to raise a further £15,000 to continue fighting the case, having already raised £26,000 through a crowdfunding campaign.

At its height the Southern Rail crisis saw outrage and protests including from disabled commuters who were largely left unable to access trains.

The UK rail network is under increasing pressure to improve access across all of its stations and trains.

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