November 30, 2004

Local Bad Design Equals Global Inaccessibility

Recently, I have been wondering. How does one determine when something is a local transportation policy issue and when it is a global or tourism transportation policy issue? Can that distinction still be meaningfully made?

Here's an example of the multiple layers of impact that inaccessible transportation has on residents in the UK -- and the implications for tourism.

In my personal experience the same issues meant that I could not travel independently (read, "spend my tourist dollars locally") when I was last in Abergenny, Wales; Oxford, London, or the Cotswalds, England.

Activists Ride Rails To Show Lack Of Inclusion

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 30, 2004

LONDON, ENGLAND--Dozens of disability rights campaigners plan to travel by rail to London Wednesday to bring attention what they call the "shameful" lack of accessible trains and stations, the Scotsman reported.

Activists from Cardiff, Wales are expected to join those from Doncaster and Plymouth, England at London's Kings Cross station.

Organizers claim that the lack of access amounts to "social exclusion". Wheelchair spaces on trains are often used by people standing because of overcrowding, they claim. Buffet cars and restrooms are difficult or impossible to reach. Many stations in the London Underground still have stairs. While some have lifts, many are inoperable or do not have staff trained to use them properly.

The campaign is being led by the disability charity Scope and others.

Jenny Ridley, a gold-medal winning Paralympian, is joining the effort, in part to warn officials that London's bid to stage the 2012 Olympics will certainly be affected by Britain's lack of accessible transportation.


Time To Get Equal

"Disappointment over rail access" by Geoff Adams-Spink (BBC News)

Posted by rollingrains at November 30, 2004 11:29 PM | TrackBack