Man calling for more awareness of autism on public transport

An autistic man who was told he could not board a train is calling for more awareness of the condition on public transport.

Speaking to the BBC, Andrew Edwards said he was “left distressed” as he tried to get home from Lord’s cricket ground after a “rude” guard did not help him with his ticket and the train left without him.

He said the guard did not offer to help him with his electronic train ticket, nor offer to find someone to help him.

Mr Edwards said his autism means he can become easily stressed, which can “lead to meltdowns”.

He was travelling with his nephew, Louis Beckley.

“Uncle Andrew was very stressed, inconsolable once he realised that they weren’t going to let us on the train,” said Mr Beckley.

Mr Edwards added: “I said to the guard that was rude to us, ‘I want to go home, I want to get home and see my mum’.”

He said he was not given the “respect, dignity and support that train companies are supposed to give to disabled passengers”.

“There’s loads of people with autism out there and the thing is, it’s more understood in a lot of quarters than it’s ever been, but there’s so much further to go.”

A Virgin Trains spokesman said: “They will both be refunded in full and offered an additional gesture of goodwill so we can restore their confidence in travelling with us.”