Disabled comedian Tanyalee Davis rejects apology from Great Western Railway after 'humiliation'

Tanyalee Davis is a popular comedian who had performed at Live at the Apollo. Credit: Tanyalee Davis/Youtube

A disabled comedian who was "harassed and humiliated" by a guard for using a wheelchair space on a train has rejected an apology from Great Western Railway.

Tanyalee Davis, who has a form of dwarfism and uses a mobility scooter to get around, was travelling to Norwich from Plymouth when a mother boarded and asked her to move in order to make room for her baby's pram.

Following a disagreement a guard threatened to call the police and announced over the tannoy "that the train would be delayed indefinitely" and that "it was 'the woman with the mobility scooter' that was causing problems".

The train was then held at Taunton for 20 minutes, causing passengers, including herself and partner Kevin Bolden, who filmed the incident, to miss their connections.

Ms Davis, who is Canadian but lives in Norwich, said she felt "personally and publicly humiliated" and the train guard "kept bringing it up" that she was the cause of the delay.

Ms Davis, who had headlined Plymouth Comedy Club the night before, is an outspoken critic of the way disabled people are treated in the UK.

In a video posted on social media Ms Davis said: "It was humiliating and I cried for most of the journey home. I don’t know what it is about this country, they really make you feel disabled.

"Just because I use a mobility scooter it doesn't make me a pariah, it doesn't make me less disabled".

She added:"I'm just trying to make a living, to make people laugh and share all my good experiences, but this country really drags a person down.”

Great Western Railway apologised for the incident they say "should not have happened" and are arranging to meet Ms Davis in order to discuss how to "avoid it happening again".

A spokesman added: "No one travelling with us should be left feeling like this."

Ms Davis, a successful comedian who has performed at Live at the Apollo, has said the apology is "not enough" and claims there is a wider problem with the way disabled people in the UK are treated.

"GWR wants to apologise but that’s not the point here – there’s a bigger picture about whether or not to classify mobility scooters as the same as wheelchairs," she said.

Greater Western Railway have apologised for the incident. Credit: PA

"An apology is not enough – it’s fine to say ‘sorry it shouldn’t have happened’ – but I have now been hearing other people’s stories saying they had a very similar situation in a mobility scooter or a blind person."

She added: "It’s not just about GWR, it’s transport in general across the UK and for me personally getting some sort of change in classification with mobility scooters and not trying to make us seem like we’re not disabled."