14 June 2012 Campaign success as manual ramps come to London's Underground
Trailblazers End of the Line transport campaign to make the London Underground system accessible to everyone took a step closer to becoming a reality yesterday, when Transport for London (TfL) announced the use of portable ramps at 16 stations across the capital during the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
TfL who were responding to Trailblazers' repeated calls for portable ramps announced that 16 key Tube stations will provide temporary manual boarding ramps including Earl's Court, King's Cross St. Pancras, Oxford Circus, Southfields, Stratford, West Ham, Westminster and Wimbledon. The manual boarding ramps will enable wheelchair users to board trains more easily at these stations, which have a gap between the train and the platform. If the use of the temporary ramps proves popular TfL will look to see how their use can be extended beyond the Games.
As with London Underground's existing assistance service for visually-impaired passengers, it won't be necessary to pre-book use of the ramps. When requested, Tube staff at the departure station will call ahead to the destination station to ensure that a ramp and member of staff will be waiting for them.
Trailblazers project manager Bobby Ancil said:
This a is a major campaign victory for all Trailblazers members. Our investigation, report, All Party Parliamentary Group meetings and media appearances have come together to make this possible. It is not long ago that TfL were telling us manual ramps were not possible due to the turn around time of the Tube. We now call on TfL to retain manual ramps after the Games and leave a lasting and important legacy for disabled people in London.