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Disabled Man Refused Entry To Train

October 29, 2013

A DISABLED student has hit out at rail bosses who refused to let him board a train because they mistakenly believed his wheelchair was too wide.

Stuart McCabe, who has cerebral palsy, was told by ScotRail he couldn’t travel as his powered chair breached their “maximum width ­specification” of 70cm – even though it is just 58cm wide.

As a result, the 27-year-old – who had hoped to use the Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley route last week – ended up on a cross-country service, which added time and inconvenience to his journey.

Stuart, from Renfrew, said: “I’m angry, upset and annoyed by what happened.”

Stuart, who is studying an IT course at the University of the West of Scotland, tried to book his train ticket over the phone but, when he gave the dimensions of his chair, he was told it was too wide and he could not travel.

He said: “They said I couldn’t travel for health and safety reasons. They said my wheelchair was two ­centimetres too wide but I knew that wasn’t right.

“I ended up having to travel on a cross-country train to Edinburgh, which takes much longer. They had no problem with my ­wheelchair on that train. I feel this is something that should be highlighted. People should know about what happened to me.”

Stuart has now received an apology from ScotRail – the second time in a week they have had to say sorry to a wheelchair user.

Last Monday, we revealed disabled Chris Smyth was wrongly banned from trains for having too big a chair.

Chris, 24, spent weeks having to make other travel arrangements after being told his electric chair was 2cm too wide.

But it turned out staff had been quoting rules for ­disabled scooters, not chairs.

Chris, who suffers from severe prolapsed discs in his back, said: “It was totally ­ludicrous.”

Now ScotRail have accepted Stuart’s wheelchair is well within the size limit.

A spokesman said: “We have apologised to Mr McCabe for any confusion caused and have provided a £50 gesture of goodwill.”

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