Access advisory panel

A man sat in a wheelchair at a train station

David Proud is probably best-known for playing Adam as a regular cast member in the BBC soap EastEnders (2010), and a 2018 role in the ITV detective drama series Marcella.  

He was born with Spina Bifida and has been using a wheelchair since primary school.  

Prior to the Lockdown David was a frequent traveller on the Thameslink network, commuting between Peterborough, where he lives, and London St Pancras 

He said: “I think a lot of disabled people rule out train travel but might be quite surprised by how accessible it all is now. The changes have been incremental, but they really add up. 

“They might be surprised that a station which didn’t use to be accessible now is. Suddenly the map looks a lot brighter. 

“We’ve got to a point where enough things have changed to make a good standard of travel possible. That’s not to say some things can’t be better, but I would urge people to press ‘refresh’ on the page of train travel and take another look.” 

Thameslink introduced a new service from Peterborough with platform humps at London St Pancras, Farringdon, City Thameslink, Blackfriars and London Bridge to allow access without a ramp. 

“Those humps were a revelation. It’s so much easier. It’s literally made a world of difference. It’s cut by half how much I have to ask people for help.” 

David was delighted to swap starring roles on TV’s small screen for GTR’s staff training videos because training has transformed the way he is supported.  

“Back in the day I was constantly made to feel I was a burden on staff; that kind of mentality has died. We’re getting there now through top-down training about the understanding of the needs of disabled travellers”. 

Visit ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ to find out more about the campaign and the support services available.