A petition has been started to urge Cross Country trains to change and review their policy after a number of special needs children were allegedly made to sit outside a toilet on a journey from Edinburgh to Lanarkshire.
The train was reportedly full as the 10 children, aged from four upwards, had been on a day trip with the theatre company Stage Eight. Their chaperones made a complaint about the state of affairs during the journey, but were allegedly threatened with having to leave the train.
The petition states:
The conductor allowed standard-fare passengers to use empty business class seats, but the special needs children were excluded from this, so that business class travellers were “spared” from having their journey “spoiled by the likes of [those] children”.
The train company, owned by German corporate giant Deutsche Bahn, which is in the middle of a franchise takeover bid, has been in the press previously for refusing to let a lady with Parkinsons disease be aided on to the train by a friend.
As the petition states:
To add insult to injury, the conductor blamed the woman living with Parkinson’s for the delay, ostracizing her publicly. As her friend stated, “Can you imagine how this must have felt to any human being, let alone a grieving human being who used to be active and mobile and now needs help with getting herself seated on a train?”Not only did it take CrossCountry months to reply to complaints about this incident, it even defended its actions, making it clear it would do it again.
The petition asks for there to be a social inclusion policy and special measures implemented for children, and adults with special educational needs.
Autism Daily Newscast asked Cross Country Trains for comment earlier today, but the invitation was declined.