GWR aren't taking my complaints seriously - where next?

I've been to the rail ombudsman and got nowhere.

In short - disabled and require passenger assistance. I always book in advance.

They ask what help is needed - I need sighted guidance and a ramp.

Some stations are unstaffed at certain times. I've been told when this happens I need to find staff on the train. I don't get a response when asked how I do this when I need sighted guidance and help getting on a train.

Assistance doesn't turn up. I'm told time and time again this won't happen again and repeat. I'm told it's staff sickness - except I've got it in writing that there's no staff at the station at that time.

I have to constantly ask for a ramp and am told no. (I've fallen through that gap and don't want it to happen again)

I'm currently in contact with GWRs "senior accessibility mentor". He's just told me this shouldn't be happening. But it does. Nearly every time I travel.

GWR have given me £30 "compensation".

I'm now unsure what to do next? I don't think anyones taking this seriously. But this is the same people who when I complained that I was put on the wrong train that doesn't happen.
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  • martindow
    martindow Posts: 10,166
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    Would RNIB or another charity relating to sight loss be interested in following this up?  They might have more clout in pursuing railway companies - I doubt that GWR are unique in this regard. 

    There is also the Rail Ombudsman although I've no idea how much pressure they are able to apply

  • prettyandfluffy
    prettyandfluffy Posts: 629
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 25 September 2023 at 11:15AM
    Jacqueline Starr, CEO of the Rail Delivery Group, has given several papers on disabled passengers and the rail industry.  It might be worth contacting her?

    Reason for suggesting this: she may be able to exert peer pressure on the right person(s) at GWR.
  • The nuclear option: Since has been a repeated occurrence.  See if you can get a solicitor interested and start a "group action" suit under Equalities act (seeking other impacted rail users that have experienced issues with GWR). 

    Will take some fundraising, I suspect unless you can get a solicitor/barrister to do it "pro bono" or on a contingent fees basis (if allowed for such cases).

    In the meantime, keep a careful log of all the details, get names of everyone you speak to.

    This really puts the "staffed ticket office" discussion into context; the focus should be what does it take to reduce the "postcode lottery" of enabling disabled travel (given that lots of stations are not normally staffed at all).
  • Indie_Kid
    Indie_Kid Posts: 23,076
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    I've been in touch with the rail ombudsman. What a waste of time. They said that because GWR have given me "compensation" (refund of train ticket) there's nothing more they can do. But both the rail ombudsman and GWR are ignoring the fact that it's constant.
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  • Looking at the Ombudsman Consumer Guide, the final bullet point covers your situation. I would get back to them and point out that they are missing the point of your complaint and that it falls within their remit and they should reassess their decision.

    What sort of complaints do we cover?

    Our role is to look into the quality of service provided based on the commitments a Service Provider has made to you, and your consumer rights. We cannot look into complaints to do with industry policies or regulations.

    We cover rail service complaints about:

    • train delays and cancellations;

    • customer service;

    • the impact of a specific one off issue, such as overcrowding;

    • information given about journeys or engineering works;

    • availability and access to station facilities including toilets, lifts, escalators, waiting rooms, parking, cycle

      storage, announcements, ticket sales, and lost property;

    • the quality of services available on a train including toilets, food and drink, heating, air-conditioning,

      information, announcements, wi-fi, priority bookings, and reserved seats;

    • passenger assistance, facilities for customers with disabilities, and discrimination or issues arising under the

      Equality Act 2010.

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