A disabled teenager has been told her mobility scooter can no longer be used on Northern trains despite her having had no issues for the past two years.

Alana Smith, 19, from Kearsley, has been left confused after being told her mobility scooter is no longer fit to board Nothern Rail services.

She uses the scooter to go to regular appointments at various hospitals around Greater Manchester and has to use the train.

Mum Karen Smith, 56, told The Bolton News: “We’ve been to seven different hospitals in Greater Manchester for Alana’s appointments.”

In correspondence from Northern, Alana and Karen have been told that the scooter is too large.

The Bolton News: Alana SmithAlana Smith

The criteria for a mobility scooter to be allowed on a Northern train is that it needs to be able to climb at a minimum of 6⁰, be 120cm x 70cm and be a class 2 scooter with a maximum speed of 4mph.

Alana's family say that the scooter fits these criteria, but Northern is still refusing her a permit.

Karen said: “We couldn’t afford a new scooter, so had to buy one second hand. It needed new batteries, so that was an extra £150 to get it fixed.”

Alana has had health issues since she was 13, which have gotten progressively worse over the years.

He mum said: “She can’t walk any distance without being in considerable pain.”

The scooter is foldable, which would be allowed to go onto the train – but, it would have to be folded before getting on which is not practical for Alana.

Karen said: “Given that she can barely walk, she’d have to take the battery off, which is heavy, to fold the scooter, and then lift it onto the train.

“You already feel like you’re a nuisance to other passengers, waiting for the ramp to be pulled out. Now they have to wait for you to dismantle the scooter, which would take even longer.”

Having used her scooter on Northern trains for two years, Alana is now restricted from getting around being independent.

Karen explained: “We needed to go to the hospital earlier this week and had to use the manual wheelchair. I have to go to all appointments with her.”

“When we get the train to Oxford Road, there’s a big hill on the way back from the hospital.

“On her scooter this is fine, I just walk quickly. But in the wheelchair, I have to push her. I’m 56 years old.”

Karen also stressed that by the time they get to the appointment, Alana is already in pain from being pushed in the more uncomfortable wheelchair.

“I was so happy for her when she got her mobility scooter, but now she’s back to having no independence.," said Karen.

The Bolton News: Mobility scooter barred from trainsMobility scooter barred from trains

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said:“We are in communication with one of our customers about the use of their mobility scooter on board our trains and are clarifying details of the model to see if it meets the standards that make it safe for us to take it on-board.

“Mobility scooter users can travel to and from more than 100 stations across the Northern network thanks to a new accessibility scheme launched last year and we ask anyone who wants to bring their scooters on our network to apply for a free permit.

“We want to support our customers whenever they need it but unfortunately some mobility scooters are unsuitable for use on our trains due to their practical manoeuvrability.”