Five London locations now have these crossing lights featuring wheelchair users

Representation for disabled people is important. That’s why TfL has revealed that a number of traffic lights across London now have a green wheelchair symbol instead of a walking person. 

The lights were revealed in time for International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which took place on December 3. TfL collaborated with Olympic rowing champion Pete Reed OBE, who experienced a spinal stroke in 2019, to create the new traffic light signals. Wheelchair users will now be able to see themselves represented at some pedestrian crossings in the capital. 

Green wheelchair user traffic light signals have been installed in Earl’s Court, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Tower Hill and Whitechapel. Their locations were carefully selected for being next to busy tube stations that offer step-free access. 

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Pete Reed OBE approached TfL with his idea for the traffic signals, which he hopes will draw attention to London’s large disabled population. 

‘As an Olympic athlete and naval officer, I spent my early adult life at the peak of human fitness. In 2019, in one day everything changed for me. My life now as a full-time wheelchair user has a whole range of new demands, which can be dramatically helped by better access and transport for wheelchair users, just as there should also be for the wider disabled community,’ Reed said. 

‘I’m so delighted that the Mayor of London and TfL listened with open ears when I proposed these new wheelchair user traffic signals. What are only five traffic lights to one Londoner represent progress, positivity and possibility to another. The disabled community can and do offer so much value to all parts of society – I hope this visibility in mainstream life makes more people feel comfortable about getting out in the city and raising their voices where they see opportunity for positive change and collaboration.’

The signals were installed by Yunex Traffic for no cost.

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