attitudes,  trains,  Uncategorized,  wheelchair

>A Refreshing Experience.

>I’m having a couple of weeks of from some of my regular responsibilities and activities.  A bit of a staycation if you will.  I’ve got several very fun things planned including some very long days out.  I’m also doing some bits I’ve been meaning to do for a long time (like today I did some baking, and I synced my iPod, removing some music and putting a load more on) and having a bit of a chillax.  I spent a while this morning working out some of the train journeys I’ll be making and then rang through to book the assisted travel.  I need to work out two more at least as I haven’t sorted next week out yet but know that there’s a NaNo meet up on Sunday and I want to go shopping one day.  But three days worth at once was my limit.

I said to the guy that I had several journeys on several different days to sort out and I thought they would be complicated to do.  He said “Probably not.” and I didn’t believe him because one of the journeys I’ve only done once before and sorting it out was an absolute nightmare. From here to Reading and then change at Reading on to the local stopper to London Waterloo. There are trains direct to London from here but I’d have to go on the tube and that’s not doable not least because last time I checked the tube station at Paddington has step free access within it but not into it. And it seems like where we want to go is walkable from Waterloo.

Anyway, last time I had a bit of an argument with them as they tried repeatedly to arrange for me to go via Paddington as “their computer wouldn’t let them book it that way.” and then when I went to Milton Keynes a couple of years ago the same thing happened when I found a route which avoided me needing to change trains in London, with them quoting the same rubbish and also trying to tell me the tube was accessible and I should trust them (amusing as on the website it says its not!!).  Both times they found a way but I had a feeling we were heading towards a replay.

So I’d geared myself up for it. I’d decided that if they were really difficult I’d ask to speak to a supervisor and that one of the points I’d make would be this: Able bodied people don’t have to justify their choices for why they want to get a specific train so making me do so was discrimination (I do realise that by saying “you could go this way” they’re being helpful and I appreciate that but seriously when I say “I know but I want to go X anyway” don’t argue with me).

And it all worked out completely fine. He had absolutely no problem with booking that way and when I said I’d had trouble with that sort of journey before he said that the system doesn’t like it but you just need to force it to do a through Reading route (I found it only by search for from Reading to Waterloo direct services only than then working back to what time I’d need to be in Reading).  Plus there were no problems with either of my other journeys, wheelchair spaces were available on all reservable trains and he called me back with the reference numbers once he’d got them rather then me hanging on.

How very refreshing!

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