WHEN going about your daily business on the railway, it is easy enough to ignore the plight of others.
Disabled people arriving at train stations depend on access ramps and lifts, as do those with baby buggies and lots of luggage.
And from time to time you do get a reminder of how much of a lifeline these facilities can be.
Last Wednesday night I saw a man in a wheelchair get off at Bolton station on the Preston-bound platform and a member of staff told him the lifts were not working.
He had to leave via the car park — an uneven surface that leads you to Thynne Street, a fair distance from the front of the station.
On Thursday afternoon, the lifts on another platform at the station were cordoned off at the bottom, though a man using crutches I saw upstairs had no idea as he waited for the lift as no one had bothered to put a sign up.
Northern Rail say this was due to mechanical faults but where is the company’s attention to detail?
No signs, no explanation of the problem to customers, no one by the lifts to pass on information and no indication of when the problem would be fixed (Northern Rail said it was back to normal on Thursday night).
To illustrate why this is so important, consider this — anyone in a wheelchair arriving at Bolton on the Manchester-bound platforms during the lift fault had to stay on the train until Salford Crescent and then get a (free) taxi back to Bolton — all because it took engineers a full day to fix the lifts.
This practice — and worse — is nowhere near as common as it used to be but it is the detail that matters and it is disappointing they chose not to apologise.