Some of the latest and brightest solutions supposed to make London’s transport network more accessible have gone on show at an event exhibiting cutting edge accessible transport, design and services.
Transport for London’s (TfL) event brought its customers together with leaders from sectors including transport, business, culture and tech to discuss the future of accessible London and demonstrate the latest transport innovations.
The Access All Areas accessible transport event was attended by around 2,000 members of the public.
The Access All Areas exhibition enabled people to discover the latest accessibility innovations demonstrated by transport providers, research groups and businesses. Amongst these was the new Station Real Time Information App.
It enables London Underground station staff to quickly report station incidents that may affect passenger journeys. This may include a lift or escalator going out of service or a station being made exit only.
TfL’s managing director for Surface Transport, Gareth Powell, said TfL is working to make London a more accessible place through encouraging 80% of journeys to be made by foot, cycle or public transport by 2041.
A crucial part of this, he said, is working with, and for, the 15% of Londoners who consider themselves to have a disability that impacts their day-to-day activities.
At the moment 84% of disabled Londoners report that their disability limits their ability to travel. TfL wants to reduce this figure by embedding accessibility and inclusion in its planning.
Alan Benson, chair of the charity Transport for All said: “We know that disabled and older people face many barriers when travelling on public transport.
“Being confident and knowing what to expect goes a long way to overcoming those barriers. Access All Areas is an excellent initiative from TfL that gives passengers a relaxed and safe way to explore their travel options.”
TfL boss Gareth Powell said: “The provision of good accessible infrastructure and services is about equality and about social justice and building the city we all want to see. But it also makes economic sense.
“UK-wide, between April and June 2017 the employment rate of disabled people was 49%, significantly lower than the rate for non-disabled people – 80%.
“That means that there is a vast wealth of talent, creativity and knowledge that we are not harnessing. Inclusive and reliable transport is essential to opening up employment for disabled people and harnessing this potential.”
Around 95% of bus stops in London are now accessible and last month South Woodford became the 78th London Underground station to go step-free.
There are now more than 200 step-free stations across TfL’s network. These include: 58 Overground stations, six TfL Rail stations and all DLR stations and tram stops.
Eight more London Underground stations are on track to be step-free by March 2020, with work under way across London at a further seven.
When the Elizabeth line fully opens, all 41 stations will be step-free from street to platform, with level access from street to train at all of the new central section London stations and at Heathrow and Abbey Wood.