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Manual ramps will be rolled out to further Tube stations

Added: 19 December 2012 | Updated: 21 December 2012

Transport for All have welcomed Transport for London (TfL)’s announcement of a programme of work which will improve accessibility across the transport network.

One of the key announcements is that the manual boarding ramps on the Tube will be kept at the existing 16 stations, and rolled out to more stations during 2013. The ramps, which were put in place to make the Tube more accessible for visitors to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, were initally deemed a temporary measure.

It is not clear yet how many of the remaining 17 stations which could benefit from a ramp will get one. TfL have said they ‘are talking with staff about our plans to introduce them more widely at other stations during 2013. These extra locations would be those that maximise the number of step-free journeys.“

Since they were introduced in July, Transport for All has campaigned for the ramps to be kept in place for Londoners to use and they are rolled out at more step free stations. Our Roll out the Ramps campaign has received a great deal of media attention over the summer, and culminated last week in activists singing accessible transport themed Christmas carols outside the Mayor’s People’s Question Time in Stratford last week.

The BBC Transport Correspondent, Tom Edwards, called the news a ‘victory for Transport for All’

There are currently 66 step-free Underground stations, but many of these are only step-free as far as the platform, as a step or gap between the train and the platform makes it impossible for most wheelchair users to board the train. The ramps are a simple and cost effective way, to make all of those stations fully accessible to wheelchair users.

At stations where there is a step between the platform and the train, the ideal solution would be to raise a section of the platform so that wheelchair users can board trains without relying on a stations staff member. Platform humps do not work however for stations where there is a gap between the train and the platform.

Further measures released in the Mayor’s plans are:

Read the Your Accessible Transport Network document in full.

Transport for All Director, Faryal Velmi, said of the plans,
“Transport for All welcomes these plans which will improve access to transport services for disabled and older people living, working and visiting London. In particular the commitment to involving disabled and older people in the training of transport staff and investment to make 95% of bus stops accessible will make a real difference to our ability to get out and about with freedom and independence.

“TfL have listened to disabled campaigners with the decision to roll out ramps at more Tube stations – a cheap but enormously effective way to way to make stations more accessible. We urge TfL to introduce them to every Tube station where a gap or step prevents wheelchair users from boarding the Tube: this would be a Paralympic legacy London can be truly proud of.

“There is however a frustrating lack of ambition on investing in stepfree access. Seven years after TfL pledged that a third of Tube stations would be stepfree by 2013, disabled people are being told to wait another decade for a third of the Tube stations to be stepfree. We need the Mayor to step up the pace on stepfree access – 16 more stepfree Tube stations over the next ten years is not enough”.