Blind Eurostar passenger left stranded in Brussels

Image caption,
Dr Tom Pey said the experience had been distressing

A blind man from Kent is considering taking legal action against Eurostar after he was left stranded in Brussels.

Dr Tom Pey, chief executive of the Royal London Society for the Blind and Dorton House School, in Seal, had asked for a conductor to help him on arrival.

He was travelling to the European Parliament to press for improved rights for guide dog owners.

Eurostar has apologised, blaming "a breakdown in communication".

Dr Pey, who is registered blind and can only distinguish between light and dark, described the experience on 2 February as "distressing".

He travelled to Brussels from Ebbsfleet International station in Kent, but had chosen not to take his guide dog on the return journey.

Instead, he had arranged in advance to be guided off the train by a Eurostar employee.

When no-one turned up, he was left to wander around the station in Brussels for more than an hour before he finally found his way out.

"For me it was just terrifying because you literally don't know where you are, and if that happened to you in London for instance, at least you know how you can stop and ask for help," he said.

"When you're in a foreign country it doesn't necessarily work that way and you're pretty much on your own."

'Rare situation'

A Eurostar spokesman said: "This was obviously a distressing experience for Dr Pey and we called him last week and apologised unreservedly.

"We are committed to providing support to all our passengers who require assistance and while situations like these are thankfully rare, this incident is being taken extremely seriously.

"Together with our SNCB [Belgium's national rail company] colleagues at Brussels Midi we are currently investigating why this happened and are committed to preventing any further such incidents."

It said it had offered Dr Pey two pairs of first-class tickets to be used for fundraising purposes, and had also offered to make a financial donation to the Royal London Society for the Blind.

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