A blind footballer was left traumatised and had to phone her mum after fearing she would fall in front of a speeding train when rail staff failed to show up to help her.
Samantha Gough, 20, got into difficulty after travelling from Edinburgh Waverley to Doncaster for a competition.
Ms Gough, from Midlothian, booked assistance before starting her journey – but found there was no one around to help when she arrived south of the border.
Ms Gough teaching one of her friends to play football. Pic: The Royal Blind School/Sight Scotland
The LNER-managed station does not have tactile paving – a system of textured ground surface indicators on platforms that assist the visually impaired.
Ms Gough, who plays blind football for England as there’s no national Scottish team, said: “It was a nightmare, a really horrendous situation to be in.
“People have died falling on the tracks before and I thought it was about to happen to me.
“I was in full panic mode and there was not one person there to help despite me booking assistance before I set out.
“I waited for about five minutes and then really began to panic. I had no idea how close I was to the platform edge as there was no tactile paving.
“Fast trains were screaming past with the wind hitting me and despite screaming on the platform for help, no one heard.
“I called my mum at home in Scotland and she had to phone the police.”
A guard emerged from a train a few arrivals later and took Ms Gough to station staff.
Ms Gough, who attended The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh, added: “They said my assistance request was not on the system but I had been told at Edinburgh that staff were phoning Doncaster to inform them that I was on the way.”
She said she was left outside the station in a “distressed state” and had to wait for someone to pick her up – adding: “It is a disgrace and has really knocked my confidence. It has really made me think twice about going anywhere without support.”
Ms Gough has been visually impaired from birth due to cerebral visual impairment – a condition which means the eyes are healthy but the brain’s visual pathways do not work, resulting in sight loss.
She competes in several sports and last year took bronze in the European Para Youth Games as the only Scot representing her country at goalball.
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Ms Gough said she has been offered two first-class tickets as compensation for the incident.
She added: “But I don’t want to go near their trains after my experience so it completely misses the point.
“This is the most extreme situation I have faced on the train.
“Sports people need to use the rail network all the time to get to training and events.
“There is a real issue here about accessibility and fairness. It really is a disgrace.”
Midlothian MP Owen Thompson said he has written to LNER demanding action.
He added: “There is a real issue about accessibility, equality and fairness here. Blind and partially sighted people should be able to travel safely and comfortably at all times.
“I do not think that the secretary of state for transport’s statement that tactile paving will appear in all mainline railway stations in Britain by the end of 2025 at the latest is good enough.”
Craig Spalding, chief executive of Sight Scotland, said train journeys like this “are not uncommon” for those with visual impairments.
He added: “We’re deeply concerned at Sam’s experience and the dangerous situation she was left in.
“Urgent action is needed now to ensure all train stations have tactile paving, in-person ticket booths and assistance to ensure rail travel is accessible for all.”
LNER has been contacted for comment.