Navigating the tube on wheels can be a massive pain. Sometimes underground it feels like there are more stairs than in an MC Escher painting. Then there’s the gap we’re always told to mind. But how are you supposed to mind the gap if you use a wheelchair?
TfL has decided to do something about this. The transport service has published a new plan to make TfL more accessible. The plan, which is called ‘Equity in Motion’ and available to read here on the TfL website, commits to more than 80 measures to make London transport more accessible.
One such measure is the installation of miniature ramps at some London Underground stations to improve accessibility for wheelchair users. The lightweight ramps are quicker and easier to install than heavier ramps used elsewhere on the TfL service. Used in a demonstration on the Victoria Line at Tottenham Hale station earlier this week, the ramps can support up to 300kg.
More than 45 mini ramps are now being introduced across the network, following a TfL trial in 2022 on the Jubilee Line. During these trials TfL’s research found that nearly two-thirds of users would be more likely to travel on the tube if they could use ramps.
TfL also plans to increase the number of step-free tube stations from a third to a half, plus improve access to toilets on the Underground and review its approach to translating communications into different languages, including British Sign Language. Everyone will be glad to hear that the strategy also includes making London transport more affordable.
Alex Williams, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at TfL, said: ‘Our vision is a London where everyone can move around the city safely, inclusively and sustainably, and access to public transport is a fundamental component in making this happen.
‘While we have taken steps to make our network more accessible, we know that much more needs to be done. Equity in Motion draws on the experiences and viewpoints of a range of Londoners, prioritising the areas they want to see improved to create tangible actions that drive forward change and help make London a truly fair city.’
Did you see that this south London train station is now step-free?
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