Newham’s disabled tweet in a bid to improve Crossrail
- Credit: Archant
Newham commuters have started an online campaign for a fully accessible Crossrail station at Manor Park.
This comes as transport ministers are asked to consider the feasibility of step-free access at all stops.
Transport for All, a pressure group driving equal rights for vulnerable, elderly and disabled commuters have tweeted pictures of themselves, under #accessibleCrossrail, holding placards stating what step-free access means to them.
Messages include reasons as simple as “being able to use my local station.”
Currently, along the 70-mile route across London there are seven stations that will not have lifts, including Manor Park.
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Lianna Etkind, campaign co-ordintaor said: “The campaign started when it emerged this brand new rail line, costing so much public money, could initially open without complete step-free access.
“We were outraged this could be in the same year that everyone was celebrating Paralympic legacy in the borough that the games happened.”
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Wheelchair user Jade Sempare, 30, of Gerry Raffles Square added it was important to raise awareness.
She said: “I would love for everyone to be educated, which comes from attending meetings, being open and willing to learn.”
Ron Candy, 57 of Navarre Street is visually impaired and said: “Manor Park station has long corridors for someone in a wheelchair. There should be lifts; I think it is penny pinching.”
He added low visibility of staff could also make disabled commuters feel vulnerable: “It is a ghost station. Once I was approached by a lady posing to be a staff member but she wanted to rob me.”
The organisation aims to show that access to transport means the social inclusion of disabled people, giving them employment prospects, a say in politics, contact with family and friends and access to hospitals.
Lianna explained: “Ensuring that Crossrail is accessible from the day it opens will show that London is a city that takes equality seriously.”
A Department of Transport spokesperson said: “The feasibility studies into the seven Crossrail stations that do not have step-free access have now been completed. The joint sponsors aim to make a summary report available shortly.”
UPDATE: Joint sponsors the Department for Transport and Transport for London published options for seven stations on the route, including Maryland and Manor Park: Read Here.