|'Scandal' of Ealing's Inaccessible Train Stations|
Tube network must have step free access says London Assembly member
A London Assembly Member says it's a scandal that 12 out of 13 stations in Ealing have no disabled access.
Inaccessible transport is one of the major barriers to disabled people getting about the borough.
According to a report by the London Assembly, one in ten Londoners are excluded from large parts of the transport network because of mobility issues.
Local representative for Ealing and Hillingdon, Dr Onkar Sahota, says he is shocked:
''The Mayor should be making accessibility a legacy priority. We need leadership from the Mayor and a clear statement of when these tube stations will have step free access.
“The Paralympic Games have been a huge success and inspiring - we now need to build on the momentum from the games and deliver a lasting legacy for our tube network by making it truly accessible for all.
“It is a scandal that there are 12 stations in Ealing that are inaccessible for disabled Londoners, the elderly, and parents with buggies and that they don’t have the same travel opportunities that other Londoners have.
“If the Mayor is serious about ensuring these are ‘the most accessible Games ever’ and that London 2012 makes a lasting legacy in this city then he needs a costed plan to make all of our stations accessible.”
The analysis shows: 119 of London’s 436 Underground stations have no disabled access - and neither do stations either side of them.
Only 73 of 436 stations have full step free access- only 17%.
17 stations can only be used to change trains and are not accessible from the street – including Blackfriars, Euston and Oxford Circus.
44 stations only have street to platform access, not to trains.
Transport For London has just announced that manual boarding ramps - used at 16 key stations* to help spectators using wheelchairs travel to the Games by Tube - will be retained (but none of the Ealing stations have them).
Mike Brown, London Underground Managing Director, said: “The London 2012 Games has benefitted from the most accessible public transport system of any Olympic or Paralympic Games in history. Transport for London has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in making the transport network more accessible in the last few years, with improvements such as new lifts, trains, platform humps, wide aisle gates, tactile paving and audio-visual displays. A total of 66 stations are step-free, all Tube stations have staff trained to assist passengers, and every station on the DLR is step-free. All Tube stations have staff trained to assist passengers.
“However, we know there is more to do. For the Games we introduced manual boarding ramps at 16 key stations where there is a gap between the train and platform, enabling customers using wheelchairs to board trains more easily. These ramps have proved to be very useful for our customers and we are going to continue to use them after the Games whilst we review whether they are permanently viable.”
* Manual boarding ramps are in use at Hammersmith, King’s Cross St Pancras, West Ham, Westminster, Southfields, Wimbledon, Earl’s Court, Fulham Broadway, Stratford, Woodford, Oxford Circus, Queen’s Park, Edgware, Morden, Finchley Central and Stockwell London Underground stations.
11th September 2012