Student receives apology after railcard mistake

Eyemouth's Cheryl Forman with her young scot rail pass
Eyemouth's Cheryl Forman with her young scot rail pass

Train chiefs have issued an apology to a visually impaired student who was wrongly told her rail travel pass was not valid.

Cheryl Forman, from Eyemouth, was left anxious and confused by the incident on an East Coast train last week.

Her mum, Ann, explained: “Cheryl is visually impaired and carries a card which entitles her to free travel on trains, buses and ferries in Scotland, as well as Berwick.

“But last Thursday she got on the train at Berwick to go to college in Edinburgh and the ticket inspector told her the card only entitled her to 33.3 per cent off her travel costs.

“Obviously, when a standard ticket from Edinburgh to Berwick costs £23.50 that is going to amount to a considerable sum.

“It took Cheryl quite a long time to feel confident enough to travel on her own because of her visual impairment and this has just knocked her confidence.”

It is the second time in recent months the 18-year-old has had problems with her travel card.

In July she was on a Cross Country train when the inspector told her the travel pass was not valid. Her mum has emailed the company and asked staff at Scottish Borders Council for help but to no avail.

However, East Coast have issued a full apology, admitting that mistakes were made by their staff.

An East Coast spokesman said: “We apologise to Cheryl, and are contacting her to arrange a refund and compensation.

“Scottish National Concession Cards bearing an ‘eye’ symbol, indicating the user is visually impaired, are valid for Standard Class travel on all operators’ train services within Scotland and as far as Carlisle and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

“We understand Cheryl has had a similar issue while using another train operator’s service. We are reminding our staff that such Cards bearing an ‘eye’ symbol are valid for travel to and from Berwick, and arranging for industry fares guidelines which cover all operators to be revised to make this clearer.”