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Wheelchair users still being failed by inaccessible bus stops

Disability activists challenged the Mayor on Friday over a Gants Hill bus stop which has been inaccessible to wheelchair users for over two years.

The protesters had aimed to meet Boris Johnson, who is chair of Transport for London (TfL), as he took his ‘walkabout’ around the newly renovated Gants Hill roundabout. Ilford resident and Transport for All member Max Reid planned to present the Mayor with a letter urging him to take action to get the bus stop fixed.

Wheelchair users cannot, at present, use the bus stop due to a kerb which is too low to make contact with the bus’s wheelchair ramp.

But the Mayor was whisked off in a car before the activists could tackle him about the bus stop.

Ilford resident Max Reid has written several letters to TfL about the bus stop, asking that they make improvements to the bus stop so wheelchair users are able to use it. But so far, his complaints have not been taken up.

The Mayor was visiting Gants Hill roundabout to unveil a plaque marking the opening of the renovated roundabout, which has cost £7.2 million to redevelop. But no money has so far been spent on making bus stops accessible to all local residents, including disabled Redbridge residents.

By law, transport providers are required to provide equal access to transport for disabled people.

A survey by London Travel Watch earlier this year found that only 39% of Redbridge bus stops complied with legislation on accessibility to disabled people – compared to an average of 50% for London as a whole.

Transport for All regularly receives complaints about bus stops where the kerb is too low or is obstructed by street furniture. We will continue to campaign for TfL and local councils to carry out these simple but essential improvements.