Caught on camera: Disabled man films railway staff ignoring his desperate pleas for wheelchair ramp so he could board train
A disabled train passenger was unable to board a service because guards refused to provide a ramp for his wheelchair.
Qamar Khaliq, 35, filmed rail staff on his mobile phone as his repeated requests for help were ignored.
The father-of-one was then told he’d have to catch a later train and he was eventually forced to take a bus home.
What should have been a 10-minute journey took two hours instead.
Mr Khaliq’s problems began when he tried to catch a train from Manchester’s Piccadilly station to nearby Guide Bridge station, which is close to his home in Audenshaw.
He had deliberately arrived ten minutes before the train’s departure on Saturday so he could get help with boarding.
On the video he can be heard asking guards: ‘Can you put a ramp down please?’
One guard turns his back on Mr Khaliq and walks away from him down the platform.
Another guard then tells him: ‘You can get a later train.’
Mr Khalik said: ‘I always arrive at least 10 minutes early to ensure I can get helped on the train without a problem.
‘There were no platform staff around and I could not see a train guard.
‘A passenger on the train got up to help me and knocked on the guard’s window to say there was a man in a wheelchair who needed help.
‘When I asked for his assistance he made a no sign at me and said “I can’t take you, you will have to get the next one.”
‘When I asked him why he refused to answer me and then refused to speak at all and just ignored me.’
In the end, he said he left the station and boarded a bus, finally returning home at 10.45pm after initially trying to board the train at 8.36pm.
Mr Khalik told the BBC that his treatment had left him feeling upset and humiliated and one guard had become angry when he realised he was being filmed.
‘He yelled at me as I left saying the police would be coming and they would take my mobile phone off me for filming it,’ he added.
The train company involved, Northern Rail, have apologised to Mr Khaliq and launched an investigation.
Peter Myers, a company spokesperson, said: ‘We help anyone who needs assistance.
‘That’s why we have ramps on our trains and that why we have ramps at our stations too.
‘I would like to apologise to Mr Khaliq because whatever has gone on he couldn’t make his journey without hindrance and that’s not right.’
Mr Khaliq said he had decided to speak out after hearing about the case of 46-year-old disabled mum Renu Duggal after bus driver in Manchester refused to lower a ramp for her.
Mr Khaliq said the experience had put him off train travel.
He said: ‘I have got a wife and a young daughter and we need to go out.
‘Sometimes I feel it’s my fault for travelling a lot on the trains.’
A spokesman for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, who published a report last year highlighting the problems faced by disabled people on public transport, said: ‘Unfortunately these problems are all too common.
‘This is having a serious effect on the independence and quality of life of disabled people not only in the north west but across the country.
‘Disabled commuters often feel they have to travel by taxi because they don’t have faith in the public transport system.’