This is more Tory disablism in action, of course.

I wonder why TPE inked the contract though – company bosses must have known that the planned service breaks the Equality Act and that people and/or organisations in the UK would seek legal redress.

I wonder what anybody hoped to achieve, apart from a huge inconvenience for everybody involved.

A train operator will this summer start running mainline rail services that wheelchair-users will not be able to access… with the apparent blessing of the government.

TransPennine Express (TPE) has decided to run services that will be out of bounds to wheelchair-users.

It said that it had to introduce the inaccessible carriages because [it] was part of its franchise agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Rail North (which represents local transport authorities across the north of England).

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokeswoman refused to answer a series of questions, including whether the government had known that the inaccessible coaches would be used, and if it had made their temporary use a condition of the franchise agreement.

She also refused to say whether DfT believed the introduction of the trains was a breach of the Equality Act, and whether the move suggested that the Equality and Human Rights Commission was right to be considering legal action against the government over its failure to ensure an accessible rail service.

But she said in a statement: “We expect all train companies to do everything possible to make travel easy for those with disabilities.

“It is vital that all passengers, including disabled passengers, can turn up and go when using public transport, and train companies have a legal obligation to provide the same access to the disabled.”

Source: Rail company to run services with no wheelchair spaces… on government’s orders

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