A DALRY student has hit out at Scotrail after she was left stranded at Kilwinning Train Station.

26-year-old Hazel Reid contacted the Herald to highlight the struggles she faces as a wheelchair user and how being told she couldn’t get off at her home station.

Last Thursday, October 25, Hazel was returning home from Paisley where she is studying for a HNC in Accounting when she was told that there was no guard on the train and she had to continue on to Kilwinning, the next manned station in order to disembark.

Hazel said this needs to be highlighted to draw attention to the serious problems with Scotrail’s wheelchair assistance programme.

Hazel, who has Cerebral Palsy, told the Herald: “As Dalry station is unmanned, I always book all my journeys for the whole week on Mondays, and did so this week. This evening, I boarded my regular train, the 16:52 to Ayr. Upon arriving in Dalry, I was reliant on my mum to hold the door open while a fellow passenger spoke to the driver. It turned out that, despite my booking, there was no guard on board the train at all. The driver said he wasn’t trained to use the ramp and I would need to get off at the next manned station, Kilwinning. I had never been to Kilwinning station before and it quickly became apparent that the ramp I was expected to use to exit the station was unfeasibly and dangerously steep. I had to wait on the platform until my mum had driven from Dalry, through rush hour traffic, to push me up the ramp and take me home. If she had been at work today, I would have been completely stranded as there were no wheelchair accessible taxis available. There were also roadworks in place that blocked the pavements where they weren’t too narrow for my chair.”

This is not the first time that Hazel has had issues with the train company and has passed on complaints to her local community council as well as contacting Scotrail directly.

ScotRail say they are dedicated to assisting disabled customers and people with reduced mobility.

And they aim to provide assistance to those who need help when travelling on our network whether this has been booked in advance or not.

More information about assisted travel can be found here: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/accessible-travel

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience, which fell below the high standards of assisted travel that we aim to provide.

“We are committed to making the railway open and accessible to all and we will work hard to make sure this incident doesn’t happen again.”