The British Polio Fellowship welcomes the £600m spent making Tottenham Court Road tube ‘fully accessible and step-free’; yet sadly, those with mobility issues still struggle to access trains due to a 22cm gap between train and platform. In the fight for greater accessibility, it is the little things that represent the biggest gap to progress. One small step – one big problem.
Even the ramps (out of use for six months) represent a compromise and not a solution. Requiring multiple staff involvement, ramps hardly give wheelchair users independence. Out of 270 tube stations in London, just 72 are accessible and only 50 can claim to be step free. The British Polio Fellowship has been fighting for better accessibility for those who have had Polio for nearly 80 years. 120,000 people in the UK live with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) and this situation is not ideal for those of us travelling around London.
This is not to say progress has not been made. Back in 1969, when Neil Armstong was taking his one small step, MP Alf Morris introduced a Bill that became the Disabled Persons Act in 1970. This legislation, the first in the world to recognise and give rights to people with disabilities was a giant leap but nearly 50 years later, it is surely time to take the steps necessary to close the remaining gaps.
Anyone who needs The British Polio Fellowship’s help can visit www.britishpolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935.
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship