Transport access 'letting London down' for 2012
With just over two years to the Paralympics I've been looking at how practical it is for wheelchair users to use the Tube.
The answer is - not very - unless you're with people who can lift you out of the Tube carriage.
At Stratford Station, there seem to be a number of problems including gaps between the trains and the platform.
There are also four lifts wheelchair users have to use to get out - one in particular seems to overload when a wheelchair and a carer are in it.
London Underground says it will look at the findings and say 25% of station will be step-free.
A viewer Steve Smith has already emailed me:
Here's the film I made with Sulaiman Khan. Let me know your thoughts...
"I have long been interested in accessability for disabled people because my father has been confined to a wheelchair for over 50 years and the inaccessability of London's stations don't only affect my father and other disabled people but also every one who's with them... or any one with young kids, pushchairs, prams, large suitcases, bikes, walking sticks, bad backs, visually impairments, etc. who struggle to get up and down steps, stairs and escalators.
I have written to London Underground before asking why they cannot make their most important underground stations accessable by using large lifts - which may take 10 or 12 people because then they will not only assist disabled people but also all the people mentioned in the above paragraph - as well as many others others not mentioned - but I don't recall receiving a response.
All of London's large train stations i.e. Victoria, Kings Cross, Euston, Liverpool Street, Waterloo, Paddington, Charing Cross, etc. should be easily accessable for any one in a wheelchair or any other disability, or with a large item, i.e. a pram, suitcase from street level to the underground. Maybe also other busy train stations i.e. Clapham Junction, London Bridge, Vauxhall, Lewisham, etc.
The underground stations with "acessable lifts" as you could see in the report are too small and not easily accessable for a disabled person and their luggage and any carers. God knows how they would feel if they suffered from claustrophobia!
If they put proper lifts of a decent size in, they would be acessable to everyone who needs help accessing the underground - not just some of the disabled.
Other underground stations which would really benefit London's residents and its visitors if they were made accessable with decent sized lifts may include Oxford Circus, Baker Street, Earls Court, South Kensington, Embankment, Tower Hill, Camden Town, Bank, Shadwell, Whitechapel & Greeen Park to name a few off the top of my head."
UPDATE: Tuesday, 10.30am
A viewer emailed this to me last night:
I have just watched on BBC London News about disabled access on the London Underground. This also applies to the main-line trains.
West Ham station serves C2C mainline and Jubilee line Underground but did you know that West Ham has to share a ramp for wheelchair users with Barking station on the C2C line?
What happens if the ramp is needed at both stations at the same time? How pathetic is that and do these ramps cost so much money that it is impossible to buy one for each station?
Having said that the C2C staff at West Ham are extremely helpful when it comes to wheelchair users.