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Wheelchair user left stranded as three consecutive trains fail to pick him up

A wheelchair user was left stranded at Footscray Station in the rain after three consecutive trains failed to pick him up.

Austin Harvey, 70, travels from Geelong to Footscray every Friday to pick up his grandchildren and spend time with them.

But when he tried to return home to Geelong last Friday afternoon he and his grandsons were stranded for 40 minutes, while three trains passed by.

A cancelled service led to overcrowding on the line, causing drivers to say they didn’t have room for Mr Harvey to board.

Mr Harvey’s daughter, Bekh Baltetsch, said it’s not good enough.

“They shut the doors in his face, never communicated with him,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“They let so many trains go past while he stood there with his grandchildren.

“Other passengers were still able to get on.”

Ms Baltetsch said other passengers offered to clear a space for Mr Harvey on the train, but conductors still refused to let him board.

In an email sent to Ms Baltetsch, which apologised for the situation, V/Line said the cancellation of a service led to overcrowding.

Services were also operating with just three carriages, rather than the usual six carriages, exacerbating overcrowding issues.

“You have advised that other passengers said that they would clear the area and move in to accommodate your father on their service. Whilst we appreciate that other passengers have offered this they may not be able to move in enough to clear the space in full, leading to your father obstructing pathways and exits,” a V/Line customer relations officer said in the email.

3AW Mornings has contacted V/Line for comment.

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