Lancaster disabilities campaigner describes “organised chaos” at Preston Railway Station

A young disabilities campaigner from Lancaster described scenes of “absolute chaos” at Preston Railway Station as he tried to return home.

By Nick Lakin
Thursday, 28th November 2019, 5:03 pm
Cameron Redpath, who has cerebral palsy has had various problems with train operators, seen here at Lancaster Railway Station. Cameron has had various issues with travel on the railways. One particular train company Trans Pennine will soon be bringing in trains with no access for wheelchairs which will make it impossible for him to travel. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday June 18, 2018.
Cameron Redpath, who has cerebral palsy has had various problems with train operators, seen here at Lancaster Railway Station. Cameron has had various issues with travel on the railways. One particular train company Trans Pennine will soon be bringing in trains with no access for wheelchairs which will make it impossible for him to travel. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday June 18, 2018.

Cameron Redpath, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, said “staff didn’t know what to do” as hundreds of people queued up for trains that never arrived.

There was gridlock on the West Coast Mainline between Preston and Lancaster on Wednesday, November 27 after a quarter of a mile of overhead lines were damaged on the route.

Cameron said that he hoped the new company taking over the franchise - Avanti West Coast - on December 8, are able to better cope with similar situations.

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He said: “I got to the station after finishing work in Preston and there were people queuing right up to the end of the road.

“They were bringing in coaches, and I spoke to one woman who had been waiting for four and a half hours.

“You didn’t want to risk going to the toilet unless you lost your place in the queue.

“I asked about getting a taxi with disabled access but it took a long time.

“They’re used to this sort of event, it’s not like it’s never going to happen, but the communication and organisation was just really bad.

“It was absolute chaos.

“What for me should have been a 13 minute journey turned into a three and a half hour one.”

“I hope the new train operators do something about it and plan better.”

Virgin Trains apologies to customers for the delays, and services were back up and running on December 28.