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 News :. Passengers with pets want better service
[05.12.2005]

A woman is demanding better service for rail passengers travelling with pets, after she was threatened with not being allowed on to a replacement coach with her dog.

Sherry James was on the 'one' rail service from London with her Yorkshire terrier, Dominico, but engineering works meant that a bus service replaced the train between Ipswich and Norwich.

When she was getting on the bus, she was informed the dog was not allowed.

Despite using the service twice a week for more than five years, she said she had not been told she could not take her dog on replacement coaches.

Mrs James, 62, of Waterloo Road, Norwich, has written to 'one' and the Rail Passenger Council demanding that rail operators provide the same level of service on replacement transport as they do on their trains.

Mrs James, who works in the theatre in London, said: "I was told by the supervisor to go and wait in the foyer at Ipswich station, but then as I stood by the buses, another one pulled up and I saw a lady get off with a dog.

"So I walked up with my luggage, and the driver looked at the dog and said, 'I haven't seen it', and let me on."

When Mrs James rang 'one', she was advised to either travel on a day when there was no engineering work or to make alternative arrangements.

A letter sent by 'one' promised the incident would be investigated, but added: "These coaches are provided by National Express and their policy is that they are privately-owned vehicles and it is down to the discretion of the drivers to state whether they will allow pets to board."

EDP24

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