A disabled train passenger who was forced to move her mobility scooter to make way for a mother with a pushchair was praised by This Morning viewers after she recounted her ordeal on live TV.
Comedian Tanyalee Davis, 47, was left sobbing after the Great Western Railway guard ordered her to move her mobility scooter out of the wheelchair space – before making a public announcement about her.
The comedian has dwafism and relies on her specially modified mobility scooter to get around as she cannot walk long distances. But the guard still made her move.
Addressing all passengers on the train from Plymouth on Sunday, the employee said: ‘We’re going to be stopping in Taunton indefinitely because the woman in the mobility scooter is causing problems.’
Ms Davis, who has refused to accept Great Western Railway’s apology over the incident, was inundated with support when she discussed the issues facing disabled public transport users on This Morning.
Comedian Tanyalee Davis, 47, was left sobbing after the Great Western Railway guard ordered her to move her mobility scooter out of the wheelchair area – before making a public announcement about her. She recounted the ordeal on This Morning today
Ms Davis asked her partner to film as she was forced to move into the vestibule of the train
The comedian was praised by viewers who blasted Great Western Railway over the incident
She explained the problem arose because mobility scooters are not classified as wheelchairs and so are therefore are not given priority use of the space.
Viewers branded the train incident a ‘national disgrace’ and condemned the way she was treated. One tweeted: ‘I feel sorry for her and think its disgusting how she was treated.’
Another posted: ‘It’s gross discrimination. It’s the sort of thing happening on a daily basis to many disabled travellers.’
Ms Davis explained she was travelling home to Norwich with partner Kevin Bolden and had parked her mobility scooter in a disabled space.
A mother with a newborn baby in a pram was waiting to board and the guard ordered Ms Davis to move from the space to make room.
Ms Davis explained she was travelling home to Norwich with partner Kevin Bolden and had parked her mobility scooter in a disabled space
Dozens of viewers took to Twitter to show their support for the comedian, pictured
When she explained there was nowhere to go but the vestibule, she claims she was ‘harassed’ and ‘shamed’. The exchange was filmed by Mr Bolden.
She previously said the guard announced over the tannoy: ‘We’re going to be stopping in Taunton indefinitely because the woman in the mobility scooter is causing problems.
‘They are videotaping me and threatening to put it on the internet.’
Ms Davis told hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford the public announcement made her want to ‘shrink’ in her chair.
However others argued she had broken the rules as mobility scooters are not allowed
She was forced to leave her scooter in the vestibule and spend the rest of the journey walking between a seat and the carriage and her scooter to move it out of the way for passengers boarding the train.
Mr Bolden’s mobile phone footage of the incident shows the comedian clearly frustrated as she attempts to reverse through the narrow train passage.
Great Western Railway (GWR) said the incident ‘should not have happened’ and has apologised to Ms Davis. However, the comedian has said it is ‘not enough’.
Ms Davis struggled to reverse her scooter in the small space while a train guard told her he needed it clear for a pram
‘GWR wants to apologise but that’s not the point here – there’s a bigger picture about whether or not to classify mobility scooters as the same as wheelchairs,’ Ms Davis said previously.
‘An apology is not enough – it’s fine to say ‘sorry it shouldn’t have happened’ – but I have now been hearing other people’s stories saying they had a very similar situation in a mobility scooter or a blind person.
‘It’s not just about GWR, it’s transport in general across the UK and for me personally getting some sort of change in classification with mobility scooters and not trying to make us seem like we’re not disabled.’
Tanyalee Davis, 47, was forced to move her mobility scooter on a train. An investigation is being launched into the incident
Comedian Tanyalee Davis was ordered to move on a train to Norwich. Pictured: Tanyalee Davis, 47, performing in Las Vegas.
Ms Davis also said that, despite arranging for assistance at stations, there is often no staff to help and she is left ‘at the mercy of other people’ as she called for a dramatic improvement from rail companies.
She added: ‘I’m just trying to make a living and get around the country. I’m just trying to support my family and do a job I love and I’m constantly having to battle.’
‘I want to get the word out there and talk to more people who can facilitate some change.’
Dwarf comedian Tanyalee Davis was reduced to tears by a GWR train guard. The guard will be spoken to by his employers
Great Western Railway said ‘no one travelling with us should be left feeling like this’ and added: ‘This should not have happened, and we have been in touch with Tanyalee to apologise directly.
‘She has asked to speak with a senior member of our team to talk about her experience – and how we might avoid it happening again – and we have said we would be very happy to arrange this as soon as possible.’
A spokesman for GWR confirmed there is an ongoing investigation and a decision will be made on the employee’s future after ‘all parties involved’ had been spoke with.