Disabled residents feel ‘forgotten’ with nine stations in Redbridge inaccessible
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 September 2017
Transport for All
Disabled residents have spoken out about the lack of accessible stations in the borough.
According to campaign group Transport for All, nine stations in Redbridge are inaccessible,.
Others including Woodford and Hainault depend on staff deploying a ramp or a working lift.
At a roundtable meeting with Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, at City Gates Church, Clements Road, Ilford, residents aired their frustrations at their lack of travel options.
“I feel like they have forgotten about us, east London is forgotten about,” said one wheelchair user.
Redbridge resident Lisa Cain uses a manual wheelchair and said only two station in the borough are “half-accessible”. On one occasion she travelled to Hainault Tube station, only to find the lift was out of order.
She said that when she asked a member of staff for help, they told her she should have checked the website before travelling and they couldn’t give her a taxi.“I felt everyone everyone’s eyes on me, they were all staring,” she said at a roundtable meeting with Ilford North MP Wes Streeting. “I took a cab out of my own pocket to Woodford so I could continue my journey.”A TfL spokesman said he was sorry to hear about the incident and would be looking into it. “A member of staff should be giving alternative travel advice or offering a taxi at our expense,” he said.
“We will make sure station staff know the correct procedure.”
“It makes travelling in London feel like an obstacle.”
After the meeting, Faryal Velmi, director of Transport for All, said Redbridge members have also spoken to him about issues arising from a curfew at Woodford station.
“Residents have complained about TfL’s policy in Woodford closing the accessible entrance at 9pm.
“This situation makes it hard for disabled and older people to live their lives with freedom and independence and go out like everyone else.”
Mr Streeting said he would be “taking up” the issues raised at the meeting.
“Being able to get around town easily is something many of us take for granted, but the meeting exposed just how inaccessible public transport can be for disabled and elderly passengers.
“Since my election, improving transport accessibility has been one of my priorities. Step-free access at Newbury Park and South Woodford will make a real difference, but there is still a lot to do.”
Peter Fletcher, TfL communications and engagement manger for accessibility, said it was improving the accessibility of the network.
“We announced a large investment of £200million and by 2022 there will be 100 step free stations,” he said.
“East London is the best served area in the city for step free access.
“When the Elizabeth line opens in this will increase even more.”
Mr Fletcher admitted that the dream was to one day have every tube station step free, but £200 million would only convert 12 stations.
Newbury Park and South Woodford will get step free access in 2018 and 2020 respectively, and the Recorder understands Transport for London (TfL) is considering introducing access to Barkingside.
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