Public transportation is a major part of everyday life for some people, especially those who live n major metropolitan areas. Subways, trains, buses, etc. are all becoming more important in London over the next few months, due to the Summer Olympics. Any city that hosts the Olympics (summer or winter) needs to consider whether its transportation can handle the influx of tourists, event attendees and passersby who will more than likely be crowding up the streets surrounding the event. This is especially important to consider when you think about persons with mobility issues – does London have enough elevator lifts for these people?
At least one tube station in London has brand new accessibility options available just in time for the Olympics. Wembley Central station – one of the biggest in London – recently upgraded to a lift system, according to The Harrow Observer:
“TFL has made the station the 65th on the network to become step free from the street to platform level, just in time for the Olympics. Three new lifts and one stair lift have been installed.”
This installation, which was lobbied for by the Brent Liberal Democrats, is being hailed by supporters as a prime move for the station, one of the few without the appropriate number of lifts. Alperton councilor Daniel Brown, the article says, was part of the lobby for accessibility. He says:
“At times it looked as if the badly needed improvements, particularly providing lifts to ensure step-free access for people with disabilities, would never happen. I’m pleased that the pressure has paid off and the lifts are in place in the nick of time before the Olympics. It’s just a shame that non-Olympic passengers have had to wait for so long.”
Making the station ‘step-free’ is an important step towards handicap accessibility for not only this year’s Olympics, but for year-round mobility.