TfL Equity in Motion plans welcomed
New commitments to be a step towards a more accessible transport network
We welcome TfL’s commitments in their new Equity in Motion plan to create a fairer, more accessible and inclusive transport network for Disabled Londoners.
We believe that all Disabled Londoners should be able to get to their place of work, study, shops, hospital, meet up with friends or enjoy London’s rich cultural life like everybody else. However, almost any outing can become a big challenge as disabling barriers are everywhere.
TfL’s new plan reveals that 19% of Disabled people do not feel supported when things go wrong and 12.5% of Disabled people don’t feel TfL provides a safe service. These are worrying statistics, but it is not surprising.
We know that Disabled Londoners find it really difficult to navigate the street-space, from pavements cluttered by obstacles including rental dockless bikes and advertising boards, to the lack of dropped kerbs or tactile paving at stations.
Active travel schemes and changes to streetscape design schemes and bus infrastructure, like bus stop bypasses, can make streets unsafe and exclude people who cannot switch to active travel unless they are co-designed with Disabled people.
We therefore welcome TfL’s commitments to continue to engage with our community on streetscape design schemes, review and assess the safety of their schemes for Disabled people.
We are pleased to see TfL’s committing to increase the proportion of step-free Tube stations from a third to a half and install a ‘self-reporting’ technology in lifts to enable automatic notification of faults and their live status.
Unfortunately, only one third of all London tube stations currently offer step-free access and lifts at stations are often broken, meaning Disabled people can’t plan their journey or our journey becomes endless.
Reviewing the information provided to customers across the network to ensure it is available in different languages and BSL is also another key positive step towards making TfL’s services truly accessible and inclusive.
We welcome the confirmation that TfL will complete a feasibility study of toilet provision and increase the provision of accessible toilet facilities across their network. Providing access to toilets is an important part of accessible travel for all.
We are also glad that Disability Equality Training will be rolled out to all TfL frontline staff and senior managers. We hope all training courses will be based on the social model of disability and be delivered by Disabled people.
While all these commitments are encouraging, we would have liked to see a commitment to invest in buses with greater accessibility features. Too many Disabled people, especially wheelchair users, still find it difficult to use buses due to conflict with buggies in wheelchair priority areas.
We hope all these commitments will become reality and that TfL will work with our community to co-produce all its policies and services.
We look forward to continuing to engage with TfL and the Mayor to ensure all disabling barriers to public transport and active travel are removed.
Inclusion London Policy and Stakeholder Engagement Manager
The Equity in Motion plan is available in full or summary versions, as a designed PDF or as a plain text DOCX file. Easy Read and British Sign Language versions are to be released soon.