Wheelchair-bound Barkingside woman forced to slide down steps at Ilford station
A disabled woman was forced to slide down steps on her bottom while her 62-year-old mother struggled with her heavy wheelchair at Ilford station.
The pair relied on the kindness of strangers, saying station staff offered little help in assisting Melissa Melman, 28, of Tomswood Road, Barkingside, on to the platform after she discovered the wheelchair lift was not working on Thursday.
Mum Sharon, who lives with Melissa, had to carry the wheelchair down unaided.
Sharon said: “We travelled from Ilford station because it has always been disabled-friendly. When we arrived and saw that the lift had broken down, we had no choice but to get down the stairs however we could.
“Staff at the station did not offer to help us and one told us that they did not expect the lift to be fixed any time soon.”
You may also want to watch:
Melissa, who lost the ability to walk as a result of pneumonia in 2007, says she often falls when forced to leave her chair and had taken a tumble earlier that day.
She said: “I call it the day from hell now as so much went wrong. My wheelchair is not exactly small and my mum has had bone taken out of her hips and also has a slipped disc in her back.”
- 1 More than £5m worth of stolen vehicles recovered in first Redbridge Action Week
- 2 'Uproar' at decision to fell protected oak tree in Hainault
- 3 Cost of damage runs into thousands as Clayhall street clears up after floods
- 4 Woodford Green and Forest Gate residents criticise councils over flooding
- 5 Inquest: Newham driver died of 'misadventure' after Redbridge police chase
- 6 Barts Trust ends major incident but situation 'critical' at Whipps Cross
- 7 Cycling access extended at Wanstead Park
- 8 Ricardo Fuller death: Third man charged with murder
- 9 Oxford student bids to improve top university access for state school pupils
- 10 Former Woodford Police Station could become office space
Ilford station is just one of a handful on the entire Shenfield to Liverpool Street line that claims to have step-free access for disabled passengers.
The lift has been out of action since before Christmas and Greater Anglia says it is “working to resolve this problem as quickly as possible”.
Disabled rights campaigner Sulaiman Khan, 26, of Woodford Green says the treatment of Melissa was “disgusting”.
He said: “It’s embarrassing that in 2012 this is allowed to happen. Situations like these can be hugely embarrassing for a person and you can feel like it’s your fault.
“Staff could have helped carry the chair or simply called her a taxi.”
A Greater Anglia spokesman added: “Any passengers who require assistance to use the stairs to or from platforms two and three are advised to contact our customer assistance helpline or seek advice from station staff.”