Disabled man forced to drag himself and wheelchair up stairs after station staff 'refused to help'

Chris Nicholson spoke to Good Morning Britain presenters Ranvir Singh and Richard Madeley about the incident at Milton Keynes train station.

A disabled man has spoken of his humiliation after he was forced to drag his wheelchair up train station stairs in 30°C, after staff refused to help him.

Chris Nicholson, a former rugby player and social media influencer, was travelling from Lancaster to London on Friday 17 June when his train was cancelled at Milton Keynes.

He says he had to make his way to another platform to catch an alternative service but, due to the station lift being out of order, was forced to drag himself up a flight of stairs.

Chris says members of staff at Milton Keynes station refused to help because of 'health and safety' reasons.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Chris told presenters that the incident was a "very big shock to the system".

He said: "It was very humiliating. I've never been put in a position like that before.

"It was emotional and, going up a flight of concrete stairs, it was putting my back in increasing pain.

"It was very humbling. I wouldn't want to see anyone in a position like that ever again."

Chris said that another passenger had seen him struggling and helped with his wheelchair, before an assistant manager stepped in to carry his bag.

He is calling on members of staff in stations like Milton Keynes to be trained to help people with disabilities so incidents like this never happen again.

"When you talk about disabilities, people are often very nervous to help", Chris explained.

"They don't want to make somebody's situation worse and I think the staff weren't trained in how to react to a situation like that - a very rare circumstance."

He continued: "If people were trained, if people had the knowledge and understanding of what to do then we wouldn't be in this situation right now."

A spokesperson from Avanti West Coast said: "We are really sorry to hear of Chris' experience, which happened due to an extremely unusual combination of circumstances.

"Accessibility is extremely important to us and we have industry-leading accessibility panels which allows us to shape our business decisions based on the lives experience of accessibility experts."

Meanwhile, London North Western Railway said: "We have high standards of customer service set out and our station staff provided assistance for Chris in challenging circumstances as well as offering him an alternative travel solution to get to him to his destination."

They also added: "The lifts are now working again at Milton Keynes station."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know