Last week we detailed that the Emirates Air Line were to run trials on scooter access.
As a result of these, we are pleased to announce the cable car is finally to become permanently accessible to scooter users – with caveats – the scooter must be no bigger than 700mm x 1300mm (27.5 x 51 inches.)
Before the change, the cable car had a blanket ban in place on scooters. The trial, which offered free trips to passengers who used scooters, received positive feedback.
One scooter user, Carolyn Lucas, said of her trip: “It was a very smooth experience, and was all very easy.
“The view was spectacular – you can see the bends in the river for quite some distance. It’s definitely one to take the nieces, nephews and grandchildren on.”
The battle over access to the airline, which runs from the O2 Arena in North Greenwich, to the ExCeL exhibition centre in Victoria Dock, began in September 2012, following a complaint from a TfA member.
In December TfL said they were “looking into the possibility of accepting mobility scooters.”
Despite the cable car being built in 2011-12, TfL stated the issue was regarding a maximum weight allowance, which all scooters were deemed to exceed. The passenger cabins carry up to six people.
Many mobility scooters weigh less than six people, thus making a blanket ban overly officious.
Scooter user Laura Hamilton, who used the service during the 2012 Games despite the ban, said:
“According to the Air Line website, my 45kg scooter was considered a risk to the maximum weight allowances.
“Riding over the Thames was a thrilling experience, and one of the few affordable ways to see the city from above. I am so happy that TfL has decided to allow scooter users to join the fun on such an enriching addition to London’s public transport.“
Following the welcome change to TfL’s policy for scooters on buses last year this decision now leaves the KPMG Clipper Riverboat service as the only public TfL funded transport provider in the capital with a blanket ban on scooters.
Transport for All consider it to be unacceptable that in 2013 scooter users are being denied entry to public transport and treated like second class citizens. We will continue to fight for the right to equal access.
The Emirates Air Line costs £6.40 for a round trip with a Freedom Pass or Oyster card and it is easily accessible via stepfree stations on the DLR and Jubilee line. For more info see emiratesairline.co.uk, or contact Transport for All on 0207 737 2339.