A paralympic athlete and disability campaigner has revealed that she was forced to wet herself on a three-hour train journey because she was not able to access a suitable toilet.
Anne Wafula Strike MBE, a board member of UK Athletics, told the Guardian that she was she was ‘completely robbed of her dignity’ by the train company involved in the incident.
Ms Wafula Strike said that when she needed to use the loo on a CrossCountry train from Nuneaton to Stansted Airport she found that the accessible toilet was out of order.
She said: ‘If the able-bodied toilet had been closer I could have tried to crawl to it but it was too far away and my wheelchair could not fit in the aisles to get to it.’
According to the Guardian, a member of the train crew suggested that Ms Wafula Strike could get off the train when it stopped at a station, use the disabled toilet there and wait for the next train, which would have delayed her journey home.
However, there were no staff at the station to help her so she was unable to get off the train.
Ms Wafula Strike said she felt she had to speak out to expose some of the injustice faced by people living with disabilities.
She said: ‘I could have kept quiet but I hope that by speaking out other wheelchair users who use public transport won’t be subjected to the same experience I had.’
Crosscountry, which is operated by Arriva trains, could not be contacted for comment. A spokesman told the Guardian: 'We are extremely sorry for the circumstances of Mrs Strike’s recent journey with us, and our managing director has passed on our apologies to her along with an explanation of why it appears all our systems failed her on that day.'