Family ‘let down’ by train service

Barbara Benson, Sue Kiernan, Suan Prince, Joy Smith pictured with Sarah Newbold. Photo by John Crossland.
Barbara Benson, Sue Kiernan, Suan Prince, Joy Smith pictured with Sarah Newbold. Photo by John Crossland.
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A DISABLED woman and her family from Winthorpe have been left ‘disappointed’ and ‘let down’ with a special train service travelling between Skegness and King’s Cross, London.

Sarah Newbold booked tickets for herself, friends and family to travel to London to celebrate her 40th birthday,

As a permanent wheelchair user, Sarah made sure to book the assisted train service weeks in advance to ensure it was made possible.

Not thinking there might be a problem, Sarah, her family and friends travelled down on Friday, April 13 where they received the service, only to incur a small blip at Grantham where they were put on the wrong train but no problems arose from it.

“We had never booked the service before and thought there would be no problems as it was booked weeks before,” said Susan Prince, Sarah’s mother.

However, on their return, the travelling party were told at Grantham that the service was not available for them for the remainder of their journey back to Skegness.

“I couldn’t believe that so me and a friend boarded the train and saw that luggage had been put in the disabled space. We did ask the member of staff at Grantham station if he could ask if the passengers wouldn’t mind moving it but they said it wasn’t possible,” explained Susan.

The group was then told that they would have to wait for the next service but a disabled and assisted service couldn’t be guaranteed once again.

After waiting for over an hour, the family was spilt into groups and given taxis, paid for by East Midlands Trains.

A spokesperson for East Midlands Trains, said: “We’re really sorry to hear about the problems encountered by Mrs Newbold when returning from Skegness recently.

“Our staff work hard to provide as much assistance as possible to all of our passengers, and we’re sorry to hear that Mrs Newbold was let down on this occasion.

“We will carry out a review of our systems to determine what steps can be take to prevent this from happening again.”