Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Shepherd's Bush Tube: No wheelchairs please

You may recall that an Assembly Member on the Greater London Authority asked Mayor Boris Johnson some simple questions about the lack of disabled access for the new Shepherd's Bush central line tube. Transport for London first said that there would be full access as they were closing the station to rebuild it using Westfield cash, then announced that actually there wouldn't be any. Oh, and to put a lift in now would cost over £100 million.

Seem reasonable? No, and definately not to the many Bushers that are now unable to use their tube station.

You would think Boris would fall over himself to get on top of this situation but he's had nothing to say - he ignored the questions that Caroline Pidgeon put to him, passing a deadline of over three weeks for a response. Finally however, Ms Pidgeon received this letter yesterday from TfL, in which they confirm once and for all that there are no plans for access for disabled people at any stage in the future. They also seem to say that to install a lift would cost over £100 million because they got their sums wrong in the past and didn't understand what sort of earth the station was built on.

I'll leave you to work out what you think of that. You can imagine what disabled people in the Bush make of it already.

At the end of a very long tunnel there is some light. The Disability Discrimination Act will come into force for public transport at the end of this decade which will force recalcitrants like TfL to do something. Sadly the year 2020 is a very long time to wait just to use the tube.

1 comment:

  1. I view this as one of the biggest disappointments by TfL and Mr Johnson - complete oversight, disregard and disgrace!

    I may not know much about transport budgets or sorts of earth required but I though we lived in a disability friendly sort of Earth, often demonstrated very well in Shepherd's Bush...

    As you say let's keep fingers crossed (longterm) for the DDA and for a new mayor...

    Really, really enjoy your blog and insight!