A comedian who felt “harassed and humiliated” for using a disabled space on a train for her mobility scooter, prompting an apology from the operating company, has had yet another bad experience on the railways.
Tanyalee Davis was en route to York for a show and, although she had already spoken to staff to ensure she would be helped off the London North Eastern Railway (LNER) train, no one came to assist – meaning she had to stay on board until Darlington, 50 miles away.
Canadian-born Davis, 47, who has a form of dwarfism, was ordered to vacate the disabled space on a GWR train earlier this week.
This latest incident, on Friday – five days after her initial ordeal – shines a light on the everyday trials of disabled people up and down the UK.
“The train guard came and talked to me and said: ‘I’ve already rung, York knows that you are arriving,’” she said in a video posted to her YouTube channel.
He told her not to panic and that if no one was there to help her, he would come to assist her.
“So we get to York, I’m waiting and nobody’s coming and some people get off and I just assume that the guard will be coming and all of a sudden the train doors close and now I’m off to Darlington.
“The guard on this train is lovely, I don’t know his name but he’s lovely. This is not a beef against the guard, he did everything he could possibly do.
“But this is the problem. The platform staff, he’s rang them, and they were like: ‘What, oh my God, we thought she got off the train.’
“Anyway, oh, another day, another try, you know, and I’ve gotta be on stage in an hour and now I’m going to be an hour out of my way. It’s been a rough day.”
She thanked everyone for the outpouring of public support throughout the week and apologised for not being able to reply to all of the thousands of messages.
The guard was “mortified” and apologised personally and, when she finally arrived at York station, staff were “over the top apologetic” and gave her two bottles of wine.
Luckily, Davis made it to her gig.
A spokesman for LNER told the BBC: “We are very sorry for the unacceptable experience Ms Davis had whilst travelling with us.
“We are fully investigating the incident to understand what went wrong and to ensure that lessons are learnt for the future.”