Disabled woman left stranded in city centre after staff ‘forgot’ about her

News

A disabled woman was left stranded overnight after rail station staff “forgot” to help her onto a train.

Holly Webster went to Liverpool for the first time with her friends on Saturday and booked an open return ticket.

As planned, the Crewe woman arrived at Lime Street station that evening and asked staff to help her get onto the train.

Holly, who uses an electric wheelchair, was asked to wait at the platform which she did, only to watch the train arrive and then depart before anyone came to help her.

She said: “We got to the station and asked staff if someone could help me onto the train. They said ‘of course’ and they told us to go and wait on the platform.

“So we waited, the train came, and we literally watched the doors close. Nobody came.”

Holly says when the station staff were asked what happened, they told her they “forgot to radio the train driver”.

With the next train to Crewe not due until 8.18am on Sunday, Holly had no idea how she or her friends would get home.

She continued: “Station staff said they would look into getting us a taxi, so we were stood around waiting for ages.

“Then finally someone came over and said we weren’t getting a taxi. That was it, we were just stuck in Liverpool at gone 10 o’clock on a Saturday night.

“There was no concern for our safety or anything, we were just basically told to leave.”

Luckily, Holly’s mum managed to book a room for the women at a Premier Inn in the city centre.

She added: “If my mum hadn’t done that, we’d have been sleeping in the station.

“We don’t really know our way around Liverpool, but thankfully two street cleaners came and helped us.

“They were great, they walked us right to the hotel and stayed outside with me while my friend went in to check if it was the right hotel.

“They said they’d have tried every hotel in Liverpool until we found the right one.

“It might sound daft but they really cheered us up – at a time we needed it.”

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We understand that being stranded is very distressing and we apologise we were unable to get Miss Webster the assistance she needed to board her last train home on Saturday night.

“We’d always advise passengers to prebook Assisted Travel by calling 0800 0223720.

“Unfortunately, Miss Webster had not prebooked and arrived at the station less than 10 minutes before her train was due to leave.

“We’re reviewing what happened with staff so we can improve short notice assistance requests in the future.”