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Broken ramps – How TfA supported me

Last year, Jane Tucker contacted Transport for All with concerns about the accessibility of roads in her local area of Croydon. Jane, who is a wheelchair user, was unable to access her nearby streets because of damaged kerbs which were not dropped. Jane wanted to take action and Transport for All helped with her complaint, by organising a day out with Jane’s local councillor and Croydon Council’s access officer, John Osborne. A few months later, Croydon Council repaired and levelled several damaged kerbs in Jane’s local area. With the support of Transport for All, Jane can now fully access streets near her home. Here is Jane’s story:

“For many years, the broken kerbs in my neighbourhood have had a negative impact on my daily travel. I got to the point where I didn’t really want to go out because it was just so stressful having to cope with all of it. Broken kerbs caused arguments with my care workers because they didn’t understand that pushing my wheelchair through damaged kerbs was really uncomfortable for me. Because there’s no gradual decline, I’d tip off the edge of the pavement and it was just nerve wracking.

On the day that I contacted Transport for All the weather had been so bad. The water was so deep in the kerb and in the side of the road where it was broken. I just had enough; I thought I had to do something about this. And it’s not just for me; it’s something that other people will benefit from.

I contacted Transport for All’s advice and advocacy officer, Jessica Beal, to complain about the inaccessibility of my local kerbs. Jessica was brilliant! She organised a day out with my local councillor and John Osborne from Croydon Council, to the spot where they could see how I was struggling. I think when someone sees it for themselves then they start to understand it.

Following the visit, the kerbs were repaired…When I saw for the first time that the kerbs had been repaired, I felt really proud! My action led to these kerbs being improved! It’s made a huge difference; my journey is so much more relaxing. Now my carer and I can just go straight across the road. It’s so different; it’s a much more fluid journey.

As a member of Transport for All, I’ve always wanted to make things better for disabled and older people, for the underdog. When I realised that taking action actually made such a big difference in my quality of the journey that I took, I thought well I might do a little bit more now! It’s quite inspiring to be able to make a difference.

I hope that my experience will inspire people to contact Transport for All’s helpline for support with travel complaints. Transport for All is an organisation that will listen to you.

Thanks to Transport for All for having the contacts to make something possible. Thanks to them I am now able to travel with more freedom.“

Picture of a broken kurb before and after the local council fixed it.