Limited wheelchair accessibility on Transport for London
Only one quarter of all underground stations in London have step-free access meaning that travelling in London is exceptionally difficult for those who are less able.
Patrick McDermott is a London resident and wheelchair user who is very much aware of the lack of accessibility on underground services. For this reason, Patrick mainly uses the bus services provided by TfL.
Patrick said: “You have to plan a lot in advance, and it means that your options are restricted, because obviously a lot of the tube lines, especially those that are older. The Victorian tube system is not accessible.”
TfL have a detailed guide of the step-free tube stations, but as shown the majority of stations outside of Central London have accessibility problems, including gaps of over four inches between the platform and the tube.
Wills, a London transport user said: “I would love to see more, the people who work on the tube do loads… but we’re still working at this kind of almost archaic system.”
Adam, another public transport user said: “It’s not something you see a lot of right, and I suppose the reason you don’t see many (disabled) people is because the facilities aren’t here to make them feel like they can use it.”
Although £200m was invested in step free access in 2016, some of the changes will not be visible for another nine years. Stations which will be altered include Harrow on the Hill, Elephant and Castle and Bond Street.