Wheelchair Autie Vs Ticket Office

You know, it’s bad enough being a Wheelchair User when it comes to Public Transport. Adding my Fretful, Vexing, Social-Phobic Aspie Brain to that, means that it never goes well when it comes to using them.

Now, I am glad to say, in hindsight, that this was the only thing that went wrong with this journey, but it’s still an important thing. To me, anyway.

In fairness, Merseyrail have been the best when it comes to going on Public Transport, especially when it comes to trains (don’t even think about getting me started on Virgin Trains!).

However. There clearly needs some call for better training, when it comes to Automatic Entitlement to discounted tickets for certain Disabilities when going on their trains.


I am a Full Time Wheelchair User, so I get to use those special “cut out” sections by the doors, the one that has the flip-up seat. I don’t use up a chair.

Therefore (as I should be!), I was under the impression – and so it says on their own pamphlet “Helping Older and Disabled Passengers – that I was entitled to:

34% off Anytime Single / Day” Tickets
50% Off Return” Tickets on Merseyrail.

The policy on the Pamphlet actually states:

You are entitled to these discounts if you are: a wheelchair user staying in your wheelchair during the journey (the discount also applies to one person travelling with you)”.


And Yet, when I presented myself at the Ticket Office (located within a Convenience Store) of Liverpool Central Station, a few weeks ago, the person at the counter gave both myself and my companion (who was herself having to use a Rollator for mobility) Full-Priced Adult Tickets.

Fortunately, I was only getting the Anytime Return: Central to Fazakerley. I’m glad it was nothing over-expensive, otherwise I would have really been struggling.

I was charged £4.15 for “Adult Standard Class” Ticket. My Companion got the same one. I was charged £8.30 in total. Therefore I can be well aware I did not get the Correct Fare given to me.

And, yes: My Companion was also due the same Discounted Fare, as well: This did not happen either.

As an Autistic person, I have difficulty speaking to people at alland I would always prefer the ticket machine to a cashier any dayBut this is how you get your Automated Discount, so I swallowed my (chilling, nauseating, intimidating) Fear and Big Fat Did It Anyway.

Unfortunately, this time, my courage was for naught when we came away with our Full Price Tickets anyway.

I may as well have spared myself that anxiety attack and gone to the machine after all!

<p class="has-text-align-justify" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><strong>Because of my extreme social anxiety, and the fact we were running late to meet our designated train</strong> (<em>I  had already booked Assistance and I had a hospital appointment to keep</em>), along with our aforementioned combined mobility issues, it meant we had no time to stop and argue the point. So I didn’t. <strong>I <em>couldn’t</em></strong>.Because of my extreme social anxiety, and the fact we were running late to meet our designated train (I  had already booked Assistance and I had a hospital appointment to keep), along with our aforementioned combined mobility issues, it meant we had no time to stop and argue the point. So I didn’t. I couldn’t.

So, I picked up the aforementioned Pamphlet, just to check, because this what I always do; go to the ticket office and I get the discounted price. This may the first time I think it hasn’t happened. I wanted to check if it was an oversight or changed policy.


<p class="has-text-align-justify" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Since it was <em>not </em>due to changed Policy, it would <strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">HOPE</span> </em></strong>that this incident was due to <em>oversight or lack of training</em>; although it <em><strong>would </strong></em>seem that it is rather <strong><em>difficult</em> </strong>to have <span style="text-decoration: underline;">any </span><strong>oversight over someone in a wheelchair</strong> coming up to your till and <strong><em>not</em></strong> thinking they required one of the abovementioned <strong>Automated Discounts</strong>.Since it was not due to changed Policy, it would HOPE that this incident was due to oversight or lack of training; although it would seem that it is rather difficult to have any oversight over someone in a wheelchair coming up to your till and not thinking they required one of the abovementioned Automated Discounts.

<p class="has-text-align-center has-background" style="background-color:#ead8a8" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><strong>Clearly – <em>this is an oversight of Discrimination and unfair charging against its own Policies</em></strong>. I feel I deserve more respect and understanding than to be charged the Full Price when your policies dictate otherwise.Clearly – this is an oversight of Discrimination and unfair charging against its own Policies. I feel I deserve more respect and understanding than to be charged the Full Price when your policies dictate otherwise.

I do not take up a “normal” space, or sit in a chair. I cannot just waltz up to a station and get on any train I wish like everyone else.

I must pre-plan, call ahead within at least one hour, arrange myself to ensure I get the right train so I can be helped on and off the train at either end. Having to go through all of this also scares me to death.

The discount is justified and earned. To be looked at right in the eye, seen, then denied the rightful Fare seems preposterous; and not one member of staff can claim they “didn’t know”.


To be honest, I sincerely doubt I would ever have the courage to bring this oversight up, even if I wasn’t late for the train – I am generally far too frightened to speak to people, and especially to question or query something that doesn’t seem right. I am also very scared of going on the train, so I have enough to deal with there, without having to add anything else, as well.

And, to be fair, I shouldn’t really have to point it out or argue it, should I?

I am sitting in a wheelchair, shoving it along, wheeling it up to a counter far too high for me to feel empowered, or see the person or till properly, let alone comfortably reach the chip and pin machine to pay. I’m definitely not going to be getting out to use a seat.

There’s not really any question about my situation; therefore there should be no mistake in giving me the correct Fare up-front. I also even have my “Autism” lanyard on, so that’s obvious, too – meaning I probably won’t be engaging with people to tell them if they made a mistake.


<p class="has-text-align-center has-vivid-purple-color has-text-color has-background" style="background-color:#bbf7e6" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">That Staff Member/ Representative looked me right in the eye and stated the Full Fare</span></em></strong>, therefore my cynicism is piqued.That Staff Member/ Representative looked me right in the eye and stated the Full Fare, therefore my cynicism is piqued.

<p class="has-text-align-center" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><strong><em>I have seen that, in how much of a “mistake” it could have been; some people can be unkind. I was too afraid to say anything – for both speaking up, and missing my train, and being late to the hospital.</em></strong>I have seen that, in how much of a “mistake” it could have been; some people can be unkind. I was too afraid to say anything – for both speaking up, and missing my train, and being late to the hospital.

On the other hand, it’s not just me who wouldn’t say anything; plenty of “Neurotypical” people also wouldn’t like to “cause a fuss” or “be embarrassed” by challenging the person handing you your ticket.

Believe me, it can feel Humiliating enough to be in a Wheelchair, asking for help, always at the mercy of other “Better-Abled” people, having to “be different” or treated “special”. You don’t want to be up there arguing your Rights as well, causing more of a fanfare about your Disability/ies than you already have. Even if it’s for just £2.07 discount per ticket on an Anytime Return to Fazakerley.

It’s the Principle of the Matter that is important. Not the money, though it helps: It can be a financial relief, too, obviously, but what it also does is show respect for your position. It shows understanding. It is significant for more than the financial side of things.

However: To have someone look right at you sitting in your wheelchair, then make you pay full price for your Ticket, is immensely insulting… I’m not sure if anyone not in that situation understands quite how much it really is jaw-droppingly insulting it actually feels.

It’s not even just about Proper Training. It’s just about Being Respectful. Plain and Simple!

But there IS Following Company Policies. Giving the Correct Fare:

It is surely unthinkable that a walking person would be automatically given the Wheelchair Discount, Right? There would be all kinds of repercussions – as well as it being so Very Obviously Barmy!


It should be same the other way around, too!

About delphinemusic

Over-enthusiastic Gamer, Goth, Geek, Techaholic, Dabbling Writer & Blogger, and Raging Coffeeholic ~ Rocking Wheelchair User ~ Proudly Autistic ~ Kicking Fibromyalgia’s Backside (!) • § Loves Gadgets, Games, Tech... And Coffee. Lots and LOTS of coffee! § ' ~ Obsessively-loving: SIMS!, Dragon Age Series, Mass Effect Triligy, The Witcher Games, Skyrim Special Edition, Elder Scrolls Online, Divinity: Original Sin Series (amongst others!) ~ ~ Self-Built Gaming Rig: i7-4970K, 16GB RAM, 240GB SSD Boot, 1TB + 3TB HDD Storage, RTX 2080 8GB EVGA *Super Black* Gaphics, 1150 ASUS Z97-A ATX mobo, Windows 10 64-bit ... Oh, and did I mention I love coffee...? View all posts by delphinemusic

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