Open letter – Mayor of London candidates
Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC) open letter calling for public transport rights for Disabled people
Open Letter: We request all the London Mayoral candidates to commit to providing the same reasonable adjustments for disabled people for the extended ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) as Congestion Charging Zone.
Dear Mayor of London Candidates,
Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC), is a charity in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with approximately one thousand members, which is run and controlled by disabled people.
We are requesting that the new Mayor of London and TFL to provide disabled people in London who have a Blue Badge, with the same reasonable adjustments that are currently provided under the Congestion Charging Zone. We believe it is totally unacceptable to impose new barriers which prevent disabled Londoners from accessing critical goods and services during the Covid19 pandemic.
- Disabled people are the most disproportionately impacted group from the Covid19 pandemic and lockdowns, with 3/5 of all Covid19 deaths being disabled people, whilst only amounting to 17% of the population (Office of National Statistics).
- Disability is now one of the strongest predictors of poverty – 54% of the those who live in destitution in the UK are disabled people (Joseph Rowntree Foundation).
- London’s public transport system is inaccessible for many disabled people – only 26% (70 / 270) of our tube stations are fully accessible (Transport for All).
In Jan 2021, the High Court ruled that the Mayor of London and Transport for London’s ‘Streetscape’ initiative as unlawful. The judge noted that ‘the needs of people with protected characteristics, including the elderly or disabled’, were ‘not considered’. The court also highlighted the inadequacy of the Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) undertaken by TfL, describing parts as ‘perfunctory or non-existent’ and finding that it ‘read as if its purpose were to justify the decision already taken’.
We believe that the Equality Impact Assessment has not considered the needs of disabled people during the Covid19 pandemic to receive help and support from friends, family, carers and helpers. In its current form we believe it would breach of our Human Rights and the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010. Where a disabled person is put at a ‘substantial disadvantage’ the service provider has a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ or provide the service in a different way.
We are requesting your urgent help and assistance in committing to support disabled people’s health and wellbeing. We have been published in My London and have the support of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, the Member of Parliament for Kensington, and Inclusion London.
- London ULEZ charges putting ‘unacceptable’ barriers in place for disabled people says Paralympic torch bearer – MyLondon
- Calls for ULEZ exemption for disabled people | Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (rbkc.gov.uk)
There are over 1.2 million disabled Londoners (20% UK population), and we will vote for the people who support us in the national emergency. Thank you so much in advance for your understanding and help for our most critical campaign to support disabled people in the Covid19 pandemic.
ADKC Access Group