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Islington Tube station ‘scandal’ is affecting disabled

PUBLISHED: 06:48 08 October 2012

Islington's London Assembly  member, Jennette Arnold

Islington's London Assembly member, Jennette Arnold

Archant

Public transport in Islington was branded a “scandal” after a study found the majority of Tube stations have no disabled access.

Eight out of the borough’s 10 Underground stops have no access whatsoever for people in wheelchairs, while two of them have lifts but no provision for disabled people to get on the trains.

Arsenal and Holloway Road on the Piccadilly line; Finsbury Park on the Piccadilly and Victoria Line; Highbury and Islington on the Victoria Line and Archway, Tufnell Park, Angel and Old Street on the Northern Line are the worst offenders, with no disabled access.

At Finsbury Park, Arsenal, Old Street, even the adjacent stations on the lines have no lifts.

Only Caledonian Road, on the Piccadilly Line, and Farringdon on the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith and City lines allow step free access to the platform – but even they have no provision to get wheelchairs on trains.

Chris Simmonds, chief executive of Islington charity Vitalise, which takes young people with disabilities on trips away, said: “Thanks to the incredible achievements we witnessed at the Paralympics, disability has never had such a high public profile.

“We hope this positive impact continues and issues such as basic accessibility in public transport are addressed. Accessibility is vital to ensuring people with disabilities receive the same opportunities as everyone.”

Jennette Arnold, London Assembly member for north east London, said: “We need leadership from the Mayor and a clear statement of when these Tube stations will have step free access.

“It is a scandal that the majority of Underground stations in Islington are inaccessible for the disabled, elderly, and parents with buggies and they don’t have the same travel opportunities as others.”

She added that if the mayor is serious about a lasting legacy for the Paralympic Games, he needs a plan to make all stations accessible.

A spokesperson for the Mayor said: “London has one of the most accessible public transport systems in the world with almost 40 percent of rail stations step-free and a fully accessible bus fleet.

“Record investment is driving new lifts, trains, platform humps, wide aisle gates, tactile paving and audio-visual displays and we are on track for 50 per cent of stations to be step-free by 2020 and have improved accessibility by 10 per cent.”

She added that staff were available at every Tube station to help people with accessibility needs.

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