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Disabled woman's tweet calling out Chiltern Railways goes viral

Katie Pennick had to argue to be allowed onto a train at Marylebone yesterday afternoon.

Published by Dan Gooding at 12:15pm 21st February 2020. 3-minute read.

Disabled woman's tweet calling out Chiltern Railways goes viral

After having to argue to get onto a train in her wheelchair at London Marylebone, a woman's tweet has gone viral.

Yesterday afternoon, Katie Pennick was trying to get on the Chiltern train, but was told there was no ramp and no access for her.

She filmed the experience and shared it on Twitter and it's now been shared over 1,700 times:

But after asking to see the train, a ramp was found and a wheelchair space was available.

Lots of replies to Katie's tweet talk about similar experiences and that Chiltern need to make changes.

She even got replies from the likes of Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson:

Only a few weeks ago, Katie had spoken with Chiltern Railways managers about accessibility, which we also reported on in January.

The 17.21 service, which goes to Haddenham & Thame Parkway, is marked as 'inaccessible' online because of door and gangway widths.

But Katie had managed to get on-board and find a space.

Chiltern Railways respond

We asked Chiltern Railways about Katie's story.

A spokesperson told us:

"We are aware of a video on social media posted by Katie Pennick last night. We are sorry that Katie was unhappy with her experience as we are committed to making our railway accessible to all."

"The train in question is the only one out of the 76 that we operate which has an inaccessible toilet and the inside of the train is too narrow to accommodate some wheelchairs. We are now clarifying the messaging displayed in relation to this service to advise of the constraints in the design of this train, but offering the choice to use the service with staff assistance."

"We are currently in the process of replacing the train in question with more accessible carriages which we expect to be completed by summer 2020."

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