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Rail operator refused to stop for disabled boy

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 19 Nov 2010, 15:40

Published: 19 Nov 2010 15:40 GMT+01:00

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"They said 'we can't fuss about like this at every station'. But there is only one space for a wheelchair on every train," said Viktor's mother, Ann-Louise Magnusson, to the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

Ann-Louise Magnusson told the newspaper that her son would have been forced to stay on the train to Stockholm and then take a train back to Uppsala at his own expense. As the extended journey would have left him only two and half hours in Uppsala they decided against the trip.

The Magnussons have now reported SJ to the discrimination ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsman - DO).

Dag Rosander at SJ told The Local on Friday that the firm is in the process of changing its wheelchair lifts on X2000 trains, work which will be completed in the beginning of 2011.

"We now have a system of manual lifts and what we have said in the time being is that these are available at start and end destinations. It is our policy to then pay for a taxi back to the stations en route."

Story continues below…

Rosander said that the matter is now under investigation.

"The family called our customer service and should have been informed about this. We are going to contact the mother and get to the bottom of this," he said.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:59 November 19, 2010 by eZee.se
16:14 November 19, 2010 by foxpur
I have seen this type of issue before, the actual customer contact staff are not trained to be up on all policies as a checked requirement, generally the infomation is in a procedure guide but often it isn't read.

That they are suppose to read it isn't usually verified and updates also need read ("Did you see the memo?" comes to mind)
16:25 November 19, 2010 by Swedesmith
The customer relations staff should be forced to get around in a wheelchair for a day.
16:44 November 19, 2010 by Borilla
That's what you get when you privatize the rail service. No service.
16:50 November 19, 2010 by tthonline
@foxpur: Neither they need training nor a procedure guide - common sense and a reasonable customer focus should be more than enough to avoid such disgusting situations. Shame on those people...
16:50 November 19, 2010 by Rolle
What a shame
16:55 November 19, 2010 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
I think that the policy which should have been implimented is also discriminatory. So what if the official policy was to pay for a taxi back to the stop required. A disabled person should be allowed to get off at whichever station they want just like everyone else.
17:20 November 19, 2010 by ironman294
This doesn't surprise me the treatment of disabled eople.

In the 1930's-50's apparently the swedish used to sterilize disabled people and performa all sorts of eugenic experiments on them. The realization and further evolution of Charles Darwin's evolution and ridding society of undesirables. Go Eugenics and Evolutionists!

Which goes back to Euorpean attitudes of inconvenience.

When the heatwave of that one summer a few years ago caused hundreds of elderly in France to die and the families would not cut their vacations short to reclaim the bodies, since it was too expensive to return.
17:34 November 19, 2010 by Tennin
Shame on you SJ and their customer service, absolutely disgusting. It's sad in a country like Sweden, many places aren't wheelchair friendly.
17:40 November 19, 2010 by PonceDeLeon
I appluad the people at SJ who followed the rules in place. We wouldn't want them to stop and make a thoughtful decision. The boy wasn't discriminated against, in the sense that he was treated with "disregard for his condition". Come on people the train has got a timetable to meet...
20:10 November 19, 2010 by Tennin
Yes we all know how great SJ are with keeping their trains on schedule.
21:51 November 19, 2010 by dizzymoe33
It is a shame that Sweden has no customer service at all. For a country that prides it self on being advance in so many things it is a disgrace. I would be ashamed if it were my country and people were treated by this.
22:03 November 19, 2010 by fridayz
what a shame
22:12 November 19, 2010 by SWOT
once the system get everything completed, people will be used to everything normal. For any thing not normally happening, they refuse to change their attitude.
22:54 November 19, 2010 by Zhorka
"We must follow rules or it will be chaos". A rather typical Swedish attitude that results in situations like this.
23:13 November 19, 2010 by Beavis
Whats the bets they offer a free ticket to Uppsala for the boy, then when he goes to take the train they tell him " Sorry our imaginary disabled place has already been taken"
01:33 November 20, 2010 by Evren
What chaos just give the price of the other train? This is called emphaty. So we see that there are some situations where the system fails.
09:37 November 20, 2010 by Sherian Elizabeth
The executives of the company should be made to ride a wheelchair for an entire week and then they would have some compassion for people with disabilities. Shame on the rail service and the people that operate it. Didn't their mothers teach them common sense and compassion?
11:38 November 20, 2010 by HowSwedeitis
@ironman294: The United States committed the same atrocities in the early 20th century. Also, The Swedish state subsequently paid out damages to many of the victims.

This is a horrible story. It is my hope that changes are implemented quickly.

12:55 November 20, 2010 by Nemesis
The staff have broken the laws around disability. All staff responsible for this, should be fired immediately.
14:08 November 20, 2010 by dtes
Typical swedish behavior ! such great people, but their so proud with their little nazis and hooligan circle jerks.
21:01 November 20, 2010 by spo10
that stupid SJ staff who refused to let the kid into the train should be sacked! and SJ should compensate as well for hiring incompetent employees.
11:43 November 21, 2010 by HowSwedeitis
@dtes: Typical? No, you are incorrect.

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