As young people from Whizz-Kidz test London’s buses, trains and boats for disabled users in Olympic year, its Kidz Board delivers a transport manifesto for No Go Britain.
There are 70,000 young wheelchair users living in the UK. This summer, many of them will be hoping to travel to London for the Olympics and Paralympic Games.
On Saturday 21 April, a group of young people from Whizz-Kidz took part in a practise journey to London’s Olympic stadium. They tested the accessibility of buses, overland trains, the underground and even a river bus. You can see how they got on in the videos below.
And writing for Channel 4 News, the group’s Kidz Board members have outlined what they would like to see improved as we head toward the biggest sporting events on earth.
All buses to be power-wheelchair and manual-wheelchair accessible. All taxis to have not just ramps, but ramps that a powered-wheelchair and manual-wheelchair can use safely.
If I were travelling to the Olympics or Paralympics, in terms of accessibility I would like there to be priority boarding for wheelchair users on all public transport.
Minimise the need to pre-book assistance (taxis and trains) as this reduces the potential for spontaneity and independence. Stations should be made more accessible e.g. clear signposting to lifts.
Audit public transport information – to ensure that all accessibility information and timetables are available in multiple formats.
We want taxi and bus drivers to put down the ramp straight away without you having to ask and being made to feel as though you are a nuisance. And we’d like as many drivers and staff as possible to get disability-awareness training so they are happy to help wheelchair users so everything runs smoothly and everyone is happy.
More accessible toilets on commuter trains, further, better upkeep of these as they are frequently out of order. Seatbelts in buses and taxis for wheelchairs to be secured.
“When it is busy at any station during the Games, I would like to see the staff letting the wheelchair uses to get onto the disabled part of the train before other people get onto the same part of the train.”
“It would be fantastic if accessible transport could become a recognised part of the legacy. Ideally, working toward things like a level access underground and graduated platforms and curbs – as the norm rather than the exception.”
“If I were travelling to the Olympics or Paralympics, in terms of accessibility I would like there to be priority boarding for wheelchair users on all public transport.”
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