Debby Horner’s dreams of travelling onboard the prestigious Orient Express train could finally come true thanks to the YEP.
Wheelchair user Debby, who suffers from spina bifida and is paralysed from the waist down, wanted to book the trip of a lifetime as a special treat for her mum.
Her devoted mum Margaret spent weeks at her daughter’s bedside while she clung to life four months ago after she was diagnosed with blood poisoning.
Debby, who lives in Leeds, has tried for years to book a trip onboard a train run by the Orient Express but she decided to try again as a special thank you and birthday present for her devoted mum.
But Debby claims she was told she couldn’t travel on the Northern Belle because of her wheelchair.
However, after the intervention of the YEP, Debby’s dreams look like they could finally come true.
She said: “It would mean the world to my mum to go on the Orient Express but unfortunately it’s me that’s stopping it.
“When I said to them about the Disability Discrimination Act they told me that the train was exempt because it was built in the 1920s.
“It just made me feel disgusted and feels like I’m preventing my mum from achieving her ambition.
“She loves the finer things in life and she’s always talked about going on the Orient Express.
“I hope that we can finally go now but I will have to see it to believe it.”
Debby originally contacted the train station in Leeds to see if her wheelchair could be accommodated.
Debby claims she was told that porters at the station would help her and then contacted the Orient Express to book her tickets.
But Debby claims that she was told that union rules meant that Leeds station’s porters couldn’t go on the trains because the company had their own stewards.
She said she was told that the train company’s stewards weren’t trained in assisting disabled people.
A spokeswoman from the Orient Express said that the company would send Debby a brochure and accommodate her in the future.