Monday, 19 March 2012

Sometimes a rant does you good

I get the London Underground every day to and from work, I use it at weekends and in the evening to see friends, go to the theatre or out to dinner, or just to head somewhere different in the city of a million faces. Yet it frustrates me that The Boy can't do this with me. For him navigating the city requires knowing which stations are accessible and where all the buses go. I'm so used to jumping on and off the Tube, wandering down side streets, knowing I'll find a station in a minute or so and then I can navigate my way home. Things are, incredibly slowly, improving. Lifts are being put in at more stations, though not enough, ramped platforms are being created so the train is now level enough to negotiate a wheelchair onto without risking falling out and cracking your head open. But it feels like it's too little too late. The Paralympics are coming in a matter of months and vast amounts of London's transport network does not cater for disabled passengers. There's a Mayoral election in May, yet none of them have mentioned this fact. We're always being told that the eyes of the world will be on London this summer, some of those eyes will belong to people for whom London is not spread wide open, but denies them access to all sorts of interesting places and ease of travel. Whoever ends up Mayor really needs to stop worrying about the unions demands for more money for working during the Olympics (the rest of us will be expected to do our jobs without this increase, including doctors, nurses, ambulance crews, firefighters, and police) and make London a truly welcoming city, for everyone.

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