Why the tube strike is good for disabled people

Unless you’ve really been avoiding the news, you’ll know that there was a tube strike this week, and whilst the vast majority of commuters made alternative arrangements and many others took to social media to complain about their lot – for those of us who are wheelchair users it was just another day in paradise. Right?

#Sarcasm 😮

Before and after London 2012 much noise was made about social inclusion, accessibility, ease of access and the like, for the disabled commuter by the media (and various organisations) but any disabled person who may have had to traverse our nations capital knows it is far from acceptable.

The tube sucks
Image created by Leonard Cheshire Disability, used with thanks.

The infographic above was created April last year (2014) but absolutely nothing has changed.

Image aside, barely one in three tube stations have accessible access, the worst being the Central Line where only one in ten of the stations are accessible. Don’t even think about trying the Waterloo or City lines – no access whatsoever. The Bakerloo line isn’t much better, but these lines are fairly old right? The recently updated Jubilee and Overground lines have only half of their stations accessible to wheelchair users. Only the DLR is step free from street level to train.

TFL recently committed to making more tube and overground stations accessible, over the next 10 years.

The youtube video below highlights how awesome our tube network really is:

Anthony, the disability campaigner who features in the video, took on the race challenge in order to highlight that 75% of underground stations don’t have step free access.

Surely it’s about time this changed? We are campaigning for disabled parking bays to be protected, and social media is a fantastic outlet for the disabled to have their voices heard. This is why we talk about all sorts of transport and unrelated issues here on our website, because many who are not disabled really don’t appreciate how inaccessible Britain still is, despite the Equality Act 2010 and events like London 2012. So yes, the tube strike was a pain, but disabled commuters face this sort of mammoth upheaval every single time they need to get anywhere!

If you have had a travel related experience good or bad, and want to share your story with us and others by getting it published here on our website, then please let us know by using our online contact form.

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