London

Concerns remain over London transport for disabled

  • 6 September 2011
  • From the section London
  • comments

It's a year to go until the Paralympic Games and the spotlight has turned on accessibility on London's transport system.

Today, the Green Park lifts were opened to much fanfare and with a cost of £48m.

Certainly, many people think London has made big improvements, particularly on the buses. Although, I do hear claims of drivers failing to stop and a lack of space for wheelchairs and buggies.

But, when it comes to the Tube there are some particular concerns.

A year ago I travelled with Sulaiman Khan, an advertising student who also uses a wheelchair.

It was impossible for him to get on at Woodford without being barged on by his carers.

At Stratford he also had problems with the lift and again had to be hauled off the train.

So, with a year to go we again tried the same route. You can watch my film about how we got on above.

There have been some improvements but the main issue is the gap between train and platform.

Accessibility schemes have been deferred or dropped over the last decade as funding has been cut by at least £65m.

Ken Livingstone, when he was mayor, promised 90 out of 270 stations would be step-free by 2013. That soon was cut so Mayor Boris Johnson could initially only promise 68 by the end of 2010.

That was never achieved and as the cash dried up there are currently 63 step-free stations including Green Park. That will rise to 65 by next summer.

'Confusing'

However, that doesn't mean you will be able to get on every line at those 65 stations. You can only get onto every line at 12 stations.

Transport for London (TfL) has also changed its Tube maps so there are now stations designated step-free from the street-to-platform and step-free stations from street-to-train.

Charities say this situation is confusing.

How do you find getting around London if you use a wheelchair, have limited mobility or have to push children around in a buggies?

Is it accessible? Has it improved? Let me know.

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