Publicado por: Ricardo Shimosakai | 06/01/2016

Newcastle man describes ‘nightmare’ of train travel in wheelchair


James Nutt has described getting headaches from fumes while being forced to sit in the entrance of a train carriage.James Nutt has described getting headaches from fumes while being forced to sit in the entrance of a train carriage.

James Nutt, 31, is a paraplegic and regularly uses public transport to travel to Sydney and interstate.

But he has raised concerns about the “shameful” conditions for disabled people on board trains, saying he is often forced to sit in the vestibule of the carriage for up to three hours.

Mr Nutt said on long trips it is unbearable.

“We’re stuck in between the carriages where everybody gets on and climbs over you to gain entry to the carriages,” he said.

“It’s absolutely freezing cold.

“The whole journey you can smell diesel and we get headaches from that fuel smell.”

Mr Nutt’s carer Kaz Anderson said it is unacceptable that disabled commuters are expected to put up with conditions that able-bodied people would not endure.

She said the conditions are often dangerous.

“Being harassed by other commuters and I had to stand the whole time,” she said.

“I couldn’t sit because of all our luggage and I couldn’t leave James on his own.

Mr Nutt is now demanding action to make train travel safer and more comfortable for disabled people.

“Every single train should have at least one carriage where the wheelchair-bound people or people with walking frames are able to get through the doors and enable them to have room to sit so they’re comfortable,” he said.

Transport for New South Wales said all TrainLink trains are wheelchair accessible.

In a statement, the department said allocated wheelchair spaces “are available on all our Oscar trains and some V Set trains”.

It said the New South Wales Government is investing in fully accessible inter-city trains, including more than 500 new carriages.

The first of those trains are expected to be delivered by 2019.

Source: ABC


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