Vy criticised for not accommodating for the disabled

Vy NSB train wheelchairWheelchair user entering a train at speed. Photo: Tore Bjørback Amblie / NSB.

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Vy criticised for not accommodating for the disabled

30 wheelchair users planned to take the train from Asker to Oslo to attend the Pride Parade on Saturday. They had to rent a bus instead. Vy claims they were attempting to accommodate. Vy is the (rather pretentious) new name for the State-owned rail transport company NSB.


“This is our big day, where we are visible in the cityscape. Then we experience being discriminated against with state blessing, Vy is, after all, a state-owned company. It is hair-raising, ” District Leader of the Norwegian Handicap Association, region Oslo, Jørgen Foss, tells Dagbladet.

Foss contacted Vy six months ago. He then asked if the transport company could not arrange for the delegates, at the National Congress of the Handicap Association in Asker, to be transported to Oslo by train on the occasion of the parade. Among the delegates is a larger number of wheelchair users.

They finally received a reply from Vy, in May, that the company were unable to accommodate, according to Foss.

“We had to spend tens of thousands of NOK on buses. I had to obtain buses from «half of Eastern Norway»,” Foss continues to the newspaper.

Regrettable

Communication Manager of Vy, Gina Scholz, tells Dagbladet that they are experiencing the dialogue with the Handicap Association as good. She also states that they have no intention to discriminate against anyone.

“We find it regrettable that they feel that they were rejected,” Scholz tells NTB.

“It is accommodated for wheelchairs on the trains. The capacity is only four wheelchairs, per train, during weekends, due to fewer departures. On workdays, the capacity is eight” Dagbladet writes. Transporting 30 to 40 wheelchair users from Asker to Oslo would, therefore, take a long time. About 130 persons were heading to the Pride parade, in total.

“Vy invited the Handicap Association to consider other solutions for how they could transport several wheelchair users, in addition to deploying more train sets,” Scholz tells NTB.

 


 

No answer

She further states that the company sent an email to the Handicap Association on May 20th about the situation. This has not been answered.

“They are welcome to contact us next year, as well – in order to discuss the possibilities. We find that we did not receive an answer to the offer, and dialogue, that we opened up for, this time around,” Scholz concludes to NTB.

Vy writes in the aforementioned email that if the Handicap Association envisages «using trains as one of several means of transport, and wants a kind of effort from several transport operators, then we will contribute with what we can», according to Dagbladet. Foss, therefore, chose to arrange transport by himself.

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