‘Uninsured’ train staff refuse to help mum with buggy

Mum relies on fellow passenger to help her get to the platform instead

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Train staff refused to help a new mum carry her baby in a buggy up the station steps because they said they weren’t insured. Vicky Pachner was travelling to a hospital appointment with her newborn son Oliver, and had only decided to take the train because her car wouldn’t start.

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She needed to use the steps and pedestrian bridge to cross over to the other platform at Wadhurst railway station in East Sussex, but rail staff said they couldn’t help her. “The lady behind the counter said no one was available to help,” said Vicky. “It’s only a small village station, so it’s not as if they were rushed off their feet. Then the lady said they couldn’t help because they weren’t insured to lift things like prams.”

Instead, a fellow passenger came to her aid. “I was really upset. I’d heard of stories of health and safety madness but I just couldn’t believe they weren’t willing to help a mum with her newborn baby. The silly thing is, my husband went to the station a few days earlier and a different member of staff was perfectly happy to help him carry the buggy across to the other platform.”

Vicky sent a letter of complaint to Southeastern Trains after the incident last month. The reply said station staff might have been able to help if she had removed Oliver from the buggy and collapsed it.

A spokesman for Southeastern Trains said there were no formal guidelines on whether staff should help lift a baby in a buggy.

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