London is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Yet many transport services remain out of bounds for its older and disabled citizens. Physical barriers like flights of stairs, gaps and obstacles, combined with the way transport services are run, prevent many of us from getting out and about and living our lives. Transport for All (TfA) is an organisation of older and disabled people who are dedicated to changing this.
With the help of our members and donors, Transport for All campaigns for changes across the London Transport network. Recently we successfully forced some rail companies to end their blanket ban on mobility scooters and thanks to us the new Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) will be fully step-free from day one.
Yet there is still so much more to do before everyone has the freedom to use public transport in London. Every day, older and disabled people have their lives restricted (or even become housebound) because transport services fail them. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users are routinely refused access to buses, Dial-A-Ride still won’t go further than five miles, and Taxicard is becoming increasingly expensive.
On top of this, the shocking difficulties disabled and older people face when accessing our railways has been highlighted by recent media coverage. The experience of Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike MBE hit the headlines when she revealed that she was forced to wet herself on a long train journey as the only accessible toilet on board was not working.
Sadly Anne’s story is just the tip of the iceberg. Transport for All hear daily of the unacceptable treatment faced by disabled and older travellers on our railways. So many of these incidents could be easily prevented.
It is a cause for national shame that it has come to this in 2017, so we at Transport for All are launching our ‘Rail Access Now’ campaign to call on the Government and the rail industry to tackle this discrimination.
Join us in the fight for equal access, so that we and other older and disabled people can visit family, grandchildren and friends and live our lives without worrying about how to get around. In the current harsh climate of austerity and cuts, it has never been more important to defend our rights and benefits such as the Blue Badge and Freedom Pass.
You can help make real progress by becoming a Transport for All member today. Please contact us if you would like any more information.
Please note that Transport for All provide expert information and advice on all transport services and benefits. Find out what accessible transport services you could be missing out on by contacting us.
Post: Transport for All, 336 Brixton Road, SW9 7AA