I have a "progressive" neuromuscular disease which affects my walking (very slow) balance and general strength. I had been avoiding train travel for a number of years because of the problems of long platforms, carrying stuff etc. So when I discovered about Assisted Travel, I thought my problems would be sorted. I booked wheelchair assistance (theirs, as I don't have one) for a recent return journey from my "home" station (a biggish one well north of Edinburgh/Glasgow) for self plus luggage, to Oxford, changing at York each way.
I duly presented myself at the ticket office 20 mins before departure, and waited. About 6 mins before departure, a wheelchair arrived. The man pushing it flatly refused to pull my small wheely-case, or to let me pull it, and said he'd have to come back for it (no apology, no explanation). But time was short and I was booked in to the north end of the long train, while the lifts to the bridge are at the south end of the station, so I just heaved the case on top of the small holdall already on my lap, and held on tightly (a considerable strain on my wrists). At least luggage and I were loaded on to the train together.
On my arrival back at my "home" station, there was no sign of a wheelchair or any help, so I had to ask fellow passengers to help me disembark with my luggage. A rail employee was standing nearby, so I asked him about the wheelchair, only to be told "it's got a puncture". I assumed he must be joking, but no such luck. And again no apology. Eventually he got a luggage trolley, loaded my stuff on to it, and set off south to the lifts with me trailing slowly in his wake. He occasionally stopped for me to catch up a bit, and eventually the luggage and I (exhausted) did arrive back at the booking office. But I felt I was treated like a nuisance to be tolerated rather than a human being who needed some help.
There were no problems at Oxford, and the York staff were exemplary.
There are plenty of other journeys I would like to make, including excursions to London and Cornwall, but all my rail travel will have to start and end at my "home" station. My confidence is badly eroded - in future I shall need more help, not less, and unfortunately I have nobody to travel with. I have written to Scotrail's Customer Relations, and am awaiting their reply.
Have you had experience of Assisted Travel? Is my station unique in its badness? Any advice about London (King's Cross)?