December 8 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 3, 2013
East Ham station has benefitted from a new boarding ramp giving wheelchair and mobility scooters users the ability to get on and off trains on their own.
It is one of 19 Tube stations that last month had ramps introduced to them, closing the gap between train and platform.
Added to the 16 ramps that were introduced last year, there are now 35 stations across London using the ramps.
Some enable passengers to use the station in one direction only, some enable changing lines where it was not previously possilbe and others - such as East Ham - provide full access to all station platforms.
After the ramps were temporarily introduced during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, campaigners from disability action group Transport For All has campaigned for the ramps to be rolled out to further stations.
One of those set to benefit from the new ramp at East Ham is Newham resident Marlene Logan who uses a scooter or a wheelchair to get around and has not been on the Underground for two years.
The 55-year-old, who suffers from a debilitating lung condition, is looking forward to gaining more independence and using the ramp at East Ham station.
She said: “I haven’t been on the train on a scooter before, I sometimes go in a wheelchair but you have to find someone to push you. I haven’t had the confidence to go alone. It will be interesting to experience going on the ramp on my own.
“Sometimes I am invited on trips to other cities but I can’t go because of needing help getting onto the train, but now I can use the scooter.”
To use the ramp, passengers have to notify a member of staff who then radios ahead to make sure there will be someone to meet the person at the other end at the right carriage where they wish to disembark.
TfL’s online Journey Planner at tfl.gov.uk can plan step-free journeys or a guide can be ordered via calling 0343 222 1234.