Transport for London

TFL prioritises wheelchair users

Last updated on November 7th, 2019 at 01:08 pm

Here at The Ramp Factory, we have been interested to hear about Transport for London’s latest initiative – to promote awareness that wheelchair users have priority over buggy and pushchair users on London’s busses.

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London’s public transport system is in the process of becoming a lot more accessible. All London busses (with the exception of the Heritage Routemasters) have been adapted to make them low floor and wheelchair accessible, and they have been fitted with wheelchair ramps that are checked every day before the bus enters passenger service.

However, despite these improvements, Transport for All have reported a number of instances where wheelchair users have been unable to board busses in London because other passengers in the priority wheelchair space refuse to vacate it. As a result, the respondents that they surveyed described having to add an extra 20 – 30 minutes to their journey times to allow for not being able to board a bus.

TFL aim to address this problem by urging other passengers to be considerate of wheelchair users. Posters, like the one shown in the picture alongside this blog, will be displayed in busses and bus shelters, and the publicity campaign will run through to spring 2013. Bus drivers have also received training to alert passengers in the priority space by activating an automatic iBus message or by making an announcement over the PA system. Passengers with buggies will be politely but firmly encouraged to fold the buggy up and sit with the child on a seat. If there is room in the priority space once the wheelchair user has boarded the bus, then a buggy could be moved back into the priority space, next to the wheelchair, provided that the gangway remains clear for other passengers.

Transport for All and Age Concern have both welcomed this move, and look forward to the future public transport access developments proposed by the Mayor of London.

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