28 June 2012
Patrick Horan - Patrick Horan is UK National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) trained, and holds an MSc in disability management.
TfL have kept their promise the lift at Canada Water has reopened three days ahead of schedule allowing step free access to the Underground and Overground for thousands of SE16 residents and surrounding areas.
And the lift at Bermondsey was scheduled to open three days later. I was one of the first people to use the new refurbished lift.
I was hoping to find evidence of the fact that work was indeed carried out as every time Í had visited Canada Water station, I could see no work being carried out and I was afraid that the lifts had been closed unnecessarily and inconveniencing many thousands.
I need not have worried as soon as I approached from the street level, I could see many improvements. Inside the lift itself were many visible improvement’s, but I still cannot understand why the lift had to be closed for three months despite the very detailed explanation given to me by TfL and the Mayor, all I can say is it’s no wonder we are losing contracts to overseas companies.
I cannot describe to you the feeling of Freedom I encountered by being able to travel on the Tube network again, it was like being released from prison. Any able-bodied person will probably not be able to relate to this, as you are used to traveling on the public transport network at will but I am afraid I as a wheelchair user need step free access and as such will always bear the brunt of budget cuts.
It’s so easy for those in charge who need to make cuts to start off without even thinking on services to the disabled, which leads me to ask the question “ is Southwark a caring Borough” ? I am afraid I have to say this the answer is no, at least disability wise. For many years I had campaigned for a Southwark Council Access Officer.
Finally one was appointed in 2006 and made sure Southwark and business’s within Southwark were DDA compliant. In April 2010, two weeks prior to the local elections, this person moved abroad for personal reasons.
When the present Labour Administration came into power in May 2010, that position has never being filled since. Having a dedicated Access Officer who was very experienced and properly trained within Southwark Council, gave Disabled people a sense of security, but now go figure
Until the next time may your God go with you.
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