Controversial train plans scrapped after being slammed for ‘accessibility failures’

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A train operator has backtracked on its plans to introduce new trains on one of its routes that are inaccessible for wheelchair users.

TransPennine Express had planned to bring in Mark III trains onto its route between Liverpool and Scarborough from next month as a temporary measure until new trains arrive in the autumn.

But it has now reversed its decision after public backlash and talks with the Department for Transport and the Rail North Partnership.

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The RMT union had initially said the plans were “disgraceful” and said that TransPennine Express was “ripping up the anti-discrimination legislation”.

The plans would have meant 12 of the operator’s 34 daily services would have “no space on the train for wheelchairs” and the carriages would have been “without wheelchair or cycle provision”.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, told the BBC: “It is disgraceful that the government are giving TPE a free pass to rip up the anti-discrimination legislation and to turn the clock back on the basic issue of disabled access to our railways.”

“It is a measure of the crisis on Britain’s railways that rolling stock that went out of fashion while Slade were still in the charts is being wheeled out to try and plug gaps in services across the north.”

A spokesperson for TransPennine Express said it would pay for taxis for wheelchair users who were unable to use its accessible train services.

Tags : Accessaccessibilityrailtraintranspennine express
Joe Peskett

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