Colchester, EN — A trip which should have just taken at least 15-minutes became a 4-hour nightmare for wheelchair user Hollie-Anne Brooks last Tuesday, Nov. 19.
The 30-year-old disability activist arrived at Colchester from London at about 11:15 pm. Beforehand, she booked a wheelchair accessible taxi service through Greater Anglia to take to her home station, Wivenhoe, which is not fully wheelchair accessible.
However, it wasn’t until 3 a.m. the next day that a taxi arrived after the taxi due to pick Hollie-Anne up broke down en route. Meanwhile, the only other suitable taxi available had to come from Ipswich – 18 miles away.
She then spoke to a member of staff to see if they could help. The staff member tried to get her a room at the nearest hotel, but there were no longer available rooms.
Hence, the wheelchair user had no choice but to wait for four grueling hours in the freezing cold.
She took to Twitter, tagging Greater Anglia, to document her four-hour ordeal.
Furthermore, she posted a series of videos explaining how she had booked the taxi service 24 hours in advance.
By this point, the freelance journalist was worrying about her medication while crying at the station.
“I didn’t have my medication, it was freezing cold. I felt so alone and heartbroken,” she said.
Eventually, a WAV finally arrived. At 3:15 am Hollie-Anne finally got home.
Hollie-Anne said she intends to take legal action against the train company.
“Train companies are failing passengers across the UK,” the 30-year-old said. “The policies are in place. But the reality of what those policies say and how they are connected are worlds apart.”
Juliette Maxam, from Greater Anglia, released a statement regarding the incident:
“Our staff did all they could to help Hollie-Anne complete her journey keeping her as warm and comfortable as possible while she waited in the customer service office with a hot drink.
We are really sorry for the inconvenience caused. We have contacted Hollie-Anne directly again, as we would be keen to meet with her to discuss her journey.”