This partially sighted guy was forced to spend the whole of his train journey on the cold hard floor of the train, with his guide dog, his only friend next to him, not a single person would get up for him to sit down.
It was said, by Roger, the the staff on the train had allowed other able bodied passengers to occupy seats reserved especially for the people who might really have a genuine need to sit down.
Roger Debman was reported to say that a conductor pointed to the floor and told him that he should sit there!
The picture you see is the 56 year old guy actually sat on the floor of the train, traveling to Peterborough from York, with his faithful four-pawed pal right by his side, Nevin. Understandably Roger was really cross, his fellow passengers completely ignored him!
He said: “It’s close to fraud!” … “I’ve had two heart attacks, a stroke, I have a pacemaker and I’ve to sit on the floor?”
No matter which way you look at it, this guy was made to sit on the floor, by the train staff, the passengers and everyone on the train who so obviously knew he was there but ignored him, they all want to be ashamed of themselves!
Roger came from Liverpool, he some special needs, he needs to use seating designed for the disabled because it allows him to care for his dig and to keep him out of the aisle. This former businessman really deserves more than an apology!
Roger booked the train ticket in advance for both himself and his wife Debra, however, he said that Virgin had no option at the time of the booking to ask for a disabled seat!
“My wife asked the conductor and he told us there was no seats and to just ‘sit there’. The conductor told me to sit where I was.”
“I can’t do the conductor’s job for him but the bottom line is it says disabled seats and if a disabled person gets on you should give up your seat up” …”Passengers were ignoring me, happy as larry. You just get used to it, It shows the ignorance that’s about towards disabled people.”
“It’s a joke. It happens regularly. I’ve had to sit on the floor before. I’m used to it” … “When I was brought up I was told to get up and give my seat to someone who needed it. Nowadays people don’t do it. Very few people will get up for you.”
Rogers wife is also his carer and as well as being a nurse at the ‘Royal Liverpool University Hospital’ she said:
“As soon as we got on the conductor said the train’s full. He came back to say there isn’t anywhere to go” … “He said he could get a seat for me but I’m Roger’s carer so I obviously couldn’t leave him.”
“No thought has gone into the facilities needed. There’s nowhere to go. If you’ve got a push bike you’re all right.”
Roger was at a loss as to what to do, who would pay attention and how could he raise awareness and change the way things are done for the better? He gathered his words together and posted on Facebook:
“This is how Richard Branson transports registered blind people and guide dogs on his trains” … “Forced to sit on the floor because the guard would not clear the suitable seating. If you think this is wrong please share this so Mr Branson gets the message.”
Janet Russell said:
“Sorry it’s not Branson…. but selfish b * s that wouldn’t move their fat asses out of the designated seats.”
Pat De Roeck said in a comment:
“That is bloody disgusting and I can’t believe anyone of those passengers didn’t help that man and his dog get a seat shame on them and as for Richard Branson well words fail me!!!”
Roger and his wife were traveling that day to see his sister for her birthday, that really wasn’t a great start to a happy celebration at all! Even on his return ‘seat’, that he booked, again disabled seats were occupied by able-bodied passengers again!!
When Nevin was this time forced to sit in the aisle many people complained about him, there in the aisle. I can really see how Roger was really fuming mad, I don’t think I could have been as calm, could you?
“He had to lay in the aisle” … “With looks of disgust because users had to climb over him some even tutted as they climbed over.”
Are people becoming this hardened and selfish that they begrudge a dog who faithfully serves and looks after his master, who really relies on him in his life every day??
Virgin Trains said:
“Thousands of passengers with disabilities travel with us every year and 94% of those using our Journey Care assistance program are pleased with the helpfulness of our staff.”
(I would love to know where they got these numbers from, do they know they actually have to ask real people on these surveys?)
“We’re extremely concerned to read Mr Debman’s account of his experience and would encourage him to get in touch so we can investigate what happened.”
London Midland (Train Service) said:
“We have priority seating on these trains, so if he had used our free assistance service we could easily have accommodated Mr Debman and Nevin.”
I don’t know about you, but are you thinking the same as me