Wheelworld Railway

Boarding the train as a commuter

Posted in Access For All, News by Wheel World Dad on November 10, 2010

I’m going to refer to a BBC article here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11676437

This is about the getting off and on trains quickly.  But I notice an absense of any recognition about those who are mobility impaired – the visually impaired, the infirm, the older person, the wheelchair user.  Where is the consideration of our boarding?  It’s still not independent.  It’s still reliant on someone with a ramp.  And what happens when commuters shove in to try to get on board whilst I’m trying to get off the train?  I get held back, the train gets delayed and – yep – you’ve guessed it – people complain because of this.

So – open invite here: I invite anyone from a major news channel service – BBC, CNN, ITN – give me a comment with a number – it won’t get published.  Lets talk about how you might like to see a disabled commuters story.

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Travel2020 – but what do we want?

Posted in Access For All, Conferences by Wheel World Dad on September 5, 2010

Disabled people have never had it so good.  More and more new routes of transport are opened up every day to becoming accessible to 95% of disabled people.

But there can always be more done.  In the next 10 years, step entrance buses will not be allowed to be used on registered local bus services, more rail vehicles will be accessible than ever and taxis will be falling into line with the rest of the industry.

But what do disabled people really want?  There is a tall order to demand equal access, comparable to anything available to someone who is considered able-bodied.  Persons with Learning Disabilities would like to be recognised as needing a form of access too.  What about those with hearing impairments?  Visual impairments? What do people want?

So – I invite your comments – tell me something you’d like to see by 2020.  It has to be something realistic though.  Comments close on the 10th September

Railway improvement

Posted in Access For All, Business, Conferences, Public Service Events by Wheel World Dad on May 25, 2010

Today I attended the Railway Improvement Conference 2010 put on by Public Service Events.  It was well attended by many local authorities and representative groups as well as businesses.

The day started off slow with very little mention of what was important – indeed Christian Woolmar who was chairing was slightly more annoyed at people getting hyped up about HS2 and High Speed Rail in general.  I felt this actually detracted from the day.

The Workshop I attended (Smart Ticketting sponsored by Novacroft) was, however, very good.  There was little sales and a lot of discussion about smart ticketting, the types and the methods of delivery as well costs.  This began to make up for the High Speed discussion.

The afternoon was when it got interesting.  Ashwin Kumar from Passenger Focus spoke first about increasing passenger ratings.  This was quite interesting for me as it provided information that I didn’t quite know about how they find out the information and calculate the pretty graphs.

Chris Green then discussed about Stations – this too was interesting as he highlighted about doing the basics, especially in a time when we have less money.

The Panel was where the event livened up – because someone (who wasn’t me) asked about persons with learning disabilities using Ticket Vending Machines and how they were expected to.  I offered a (hopefully useful) comment about how we need to offer such routes out of these but also that we need to consider about the next 5 years or so – because we need to begin to make changes now.  I also explained about how people in that room over the next 20 years we need to be ready for the growing numbers of disabled people.

I also asked about how, with a train every 15 seconds, the ODA expect persons with disability to be assisted quickly and with dignity.  It was quite a difficult question to answer – indeed the  answer was “we’ll leave it up to those who know – i.e. the TOCs”.  But at least I wasn’t given rubbish.

A good day, a good event.

Just as I was leaving, an emailed arrived from East Coast Trains announcing how the APRS will be down this weekend.  I passed this to Ashwin and left…

Scottish Parliament criticises access cash cuts

Posted in Access For All, News, Scotland by Wheel World Dad on May 2, 2010

This is in response to the BBC News Article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8656222.stm .

I’m in agreement that this cash should not be cut.  Its quite important that access for all should continue unhindered.

Why?

Because we are striving for a change in accessing all of our railways – not just the main stations and perceived main destinations of those who need access.

Because in partnership, disabled people are working forward to attain the same levels of independence any able bodied person might have.

Because disabled people want to travel too.

We are living in an economy where we need to get more for less.  So why shouldn’t we try to get more?  Isn’t £2.5 million on a lift a little excessive?  So – lets find why it costs so much and adjust that.  But not at the expense of disabled people.