25 March 2012
The vast majority of tube stations still do not have step free access in Brent and Harrow.
The Party has issued a Tube Map showing only inaccessible tube stations, highlighting the limited journeys that can be made (www.jennyforlondon.org/fresh-ideas/accessible-london/)
"We need to aspire to an inclusive transport system, where no one is prevented for using London's public transport.
"In the year that the Paralympics will be held in London it is shameful that the overwhelming majority of the tube system is still inaccessible to hundreds of thousands of people.
"This is nothing short of transport apartheid."
The London Underground has 270 stations, yet a mere 63 are step-free from street to platform, meaning older and disabled passengers are left to run a gauntlet of escalators, stairs and uneven surfaces to access the platform.
Once there, passengers can be faced with a vertical step-up into the train of as much as 12 inches. Transport for London claim to be working on installing platform humps to reduce this gap, but currently these are only available at a handful of stations.
Ken Livingstone promised 90 out of 270 stations would be step-free by 2013. Boris Johnson made the promise of 68 step-free stations by the end of 2010. Neither promise has been fulfilled.
The accessibility manifesto, launched on the same day, focuses on:
• Accessible transport-including making all bus stops accessible by 2018
• Accessible Olympics-making sure there are enough staff on hand to help those who need it
• Accessible homes-making sure that 15% of new homes are wheelchair accessible
• Accessible high streets-making sure essential services and amenities are accessible
• Accessible green spaces-making sure everyone can access parks, play spaces and animal habitats
Shahrar Ali, Green Party Candidate for Brent and Harrow, said:
"I am committed to step-free accessibilty from pavement to platform and train as a necessary and indispensible part of a properly intergrated public transport system. That means all-inclusive, for passengers in wheelchairs or with prams."
Mr Ali continued, "I once accompanied a friend, who used a wheelchair, to the Royal Albert Hall and he was determined to overcome all the obstacles to his using the tube. It was quite a feat for him and more of a challenge than it should have to been. I shall campaign for the main stations across Brent and Harrow to enjoy step-free access, including Harrow-on-the-Hill."
The manifesto is available here: www.jennyforlondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/London-GP-2012-Accessibility-Manifesto.pdf
For more information, contact Green Party London Press Officer Joe Williams on 07825511927, @earsopen or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
- Jean Lambert MEP calls for a cleaner rhetoric
- Jean Lambert MEP and expert panel Answer Question about George Osborne
- Letter to the Editor