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Rail boss apologises to disabled pensioner over CCTV ‘broken promise’

PUBLISHED: 12:23 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:24 07 September 2018

Michael Travers. Pic: KEN MEARS

Michael Travers. Pic: KEN MEARS

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A rail boss has been forced to apologise to a severely disabled pensioner for breaking a promise to provide CCTV footage after he almost went under.

Stratford Station. Picture: Ken MearsStratford Station. Picture: Ken Mears

Michael Travers, of Plaistow Grove, Stratford, was on his way to visit his dying brother in hospital when he slipped trying to board a central line train and almost ended up under it at Stratford Station on May 5.

The 64-year-old – who has poor eyesight due to the rare disorder Stevens-Johnson syndrome – realised after staff stepped in to help him that he was becoming frailer.

The former hotel concierge, who was forced to give up work because of illness, asked Transport for London (TfL) for a copy of the video footage to strengthen his application for extra care from Newham Council.

He contacted a TfL customer assistant who asked the station to save the footage and instructed Mr Travers to put his request in writing.

He said he was promised a copy of the CCTV by a TfL staff member, but after waiting for it for three months, Mr Travers was told on Wednesday that they haven’t got it.

Mr Travers said: “I need to show the council how much I’m struggling. I’m not blaming anyone for the fall. It was my fault. I don’t know what options I have available to me now.

“There’s nothing to show how bad the situation was. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”

Stevens-Johnson syndrome can be life-threatening if not treated. Its effect on Mr Travers’s eyes means it has been difficult for him to go outside in sunlight since he was three-years-old. He has attended Moorfields Eye Hospital since 1956.

The vision in his right eye is blurred and he relies on crutches to get about because of a poor hip which can’t be replaced due to a lung condition.

Volkan Altinok, TfL’s head of contact centre operations, said: “I would like to apologise unreservedly to Mr Travers for the slow response to his query.

“Clearly something has gone wrong with the process and our customer services teams are urgently investigating the issue.”


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