Transport for All, together with London Assembly Member Val Shawcross, met outside Brixton station to express their concern over a perpetually broken lift at the station. The protest brought together Londoners including a wheelchair user, a parent with a buggy and a mobility scooter user.
Transport for All first complained to London Underground about the broken lift in May 2010, making clear the inconvenience it causes to disabled and older travellers. The lift has been out of order due to water leakage. London Underground stated that they would fix it by mid-August, but six months later, and it is still not operational.
Disabled passengers were particularly angry that London Underground had provided no information at street level about the lift closure.
The lift is now out of service until late November for maintenance works, making travel extremely difficult for those who can’t use steps. Janet Mearns, who commutes weekly to the station, said: “There was no apology or explanation. Passengers were not warned about the lift closure, and we were left in the dark about when it would start again“.
Posters explaining that the lift was undergoing repair works had been put up below ground in the ticket hall, but for people who can’t descend the steps, this was useless. At the same time, announcements were still being made on trains that ‘Step-free access is available at Brixton station’.
Transport for All was pleased to see that just hours after the protest, London Underground have heeded our message and provided information
about the lift closure at street level, so it is visible to all passengers and would-be passengers.
Brixton station has been step-free since 2003, and is one of 58 step-free stations on the tube.