Disabled Doncaster rail passenger treated like ‘leper’

Carl Meads (r), of Woodlands with her son Christopher, are uspet with the treatment Carl received by staff on a train journey from Doncaster to Sheffield. Picture: Andrew Roe
Carl Meads (r), of Woodlands with her son Christopher, are uspet with the treatment Carl received by staff on a train journey from Doncaster to Sheffield. Picture: Andrew Roe

A disabled passenger has blasted a rail firm after claiming he was made to feel like a ‘leper’ on its trains.

Carl Meads has hit out at train operator Northern Rail claiming staff on services at both Doncaster and Sheffield railway stations made him feel like a ‘second-class citizen,’ simply because he was using a wheelchair.

Mr Meads, who has been using the chair temporarily during treatment for leg ulcers, was travelling from Doncaster to Sheffield for a medical appointment with his son Christopher and says he felt ‘humiliated’ by his ordeal.

He said: “We went to get on the train and we were told by the train staff that we would need an assistant to help us.

“They told me they were in a hurry and didn’t have time to help. They made me feel like a second-class citizen and a leper.”

Mr Meads said they boarded the train but the problems continued when they arrived at Sheffield station.

Mr Meads of Grange Road, Woodlands, said: “We were told that we should have asked for assistance in advance and it seemed like a real chore for them to help me. It was totally disgusting.”

Following an overnight stay at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Mr Meads, aged 56, claimed he encountered yet more problems on his return journey.

“They told me they were running late and getting me on would make them even later.

“The look we were given by the Northern Rail employee was one of disgust – he made it quite clear he didn’t want to know us.”

“It was horrendous,” he said.

“I feel sorry for people who use wheelchairs all the time if that’s how they are treated.”

Mr Meads, who also suffers from angina and diabetes, said he would be raising the matter with his MP Ed Miliband.

A Northern Rail spokesman said: “We would like to apologise to Mr Meads for his less than satisfactory experience.

“We would urge him to contact our customer relations department so that this incident can be fully investigated.”