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Disabled woman stranded at train station

Holly Webster with her friend Ali
Holly Webster with her friend Ali Image credit: liverpoolecho.co.uk

A train passenger in an electric wheelchair was almost left overnight on a platform after staff “forgot” to help her board the journey.

When Holly Webster, from Crewe, planned to visit family in Liverpool on Saturday with the intention travelling home the same day she didn’t bank on spending the night stranded on the station.

She was told by staff to wait next to the train with her friends until assistance arrived, but it never did!

Holly told Liverpool Echo: "We got to the station and asked staff if someone could help me onto the train. They said 'of course' and they told us to go and wait on the platform.

"So we waited, the train came, and we literally watched the doors close. Nobody came."

Apparently the station staff "forgot to radio the train driver" to tell them a wheelchair passenger was waiting on the platform.

The next train to Crewe was not until 8.18am the following morning.

Holly said: "Station staff said they would look into getting us a taxi, so we were stood around waiting for ages.

"Then finally someone came over and said we weren't getting a taxi. That was it, we were just stuck in Liverpool at gone 10 o'clock on a Saturday night.

There was no concern for our safety or anything, we were just basically told to leave."

Fortunately Holly’s mother manged to book a room at the nearby Premier Inn so she could spend the night there with her friends.

She added: "If my mum hadn't done that, we'd have been sleeping in the station.

"We don't really know our way around Liverpool, but thankfully two street cleaners came and helped us.

"They were great, they walked us right to the hotel and stayed outside with me while my friend went in to check if it was the right hotel. They said they'd have tried every hotel in Liverpool until we found the right one.

"It might sound daft but they really cheered us up - at a time we needed it."

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We understand that being stranded is very distressing and we apologise we were unable to get Miss Webster the assistance she needed to board her last train home on Saturday night.

“We’d always advise passengers to pre-book Assisted Travel by calling 0800 0223720.

"Unfortunately, Miss Webster had not pre-booked and arrived at the station less than 10 minutes before her train was due to leave.

"We’re reviewing what happened with staff so we can improve short notice assistance requests in the future.”

It was the first time Holly Webster visited Liverpool.