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Blind train commuter 'nearly fell onto tracks' at unmanned station because of faulty announcements

An “intermittent fault” with New Malden station’s announcement system has left a blind woman stranded at unmanned stations and caused her to almost fall onto tracks.

Jennifer Carpenter, of Malden Hill, said the station’s faltering loudspeakers have caused her frequently to board the wrong train over the past 14 weeks. On one occasion she said she was left abandoned at the unmanned Berrylands station and, in trying to leave, almost stepped onto the railway.

South West Trains, which is responsible for the PA system in New Malden, could not confirm how long the equipment has been malfunctioning. The rail provider, which is running a consultation into how to improve services until Tuesday, February 9, was criticised last week after it was discovered the company had apologised to customers on social media 650 times in one week.

Mrs Carpenter fully lost her sight about two years ago and volunteers for disability rights groups such as the Kingston Association for the Blind. She said the current problems with the station announcements have caused her to stop travelling on her own.

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