Wheelchair passengers call for ramp to be returned to Kilburn tube station
PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 October 2013
Wheelchair passengers are calling for the return of a ramp to a tube station after transport bosses withdrew the vital facility on ‘safety’ grounds.
A ramp enabling wheelchair bound passengers to negotiate the step down from the platform at Kilburn tube station was introduced during the 2012 Olympic Games.
But earlier this year it was taken away, leaving wheelchair passengers with long journeys to central London via buses and trains.
Jeffrey Harvey, 43, a wheelchair user who lives in Mortimer Road, Kilburn, is frustrated with the inconvenience.
He said: “From here (Kilburn) it can take about 22 minutes to London Bridge but it’s an hour and 20 minutes on two buses.
“It’s really frustrating, the ramps really opened up the network for us.”
Mr Harvey, who also suffers from Pompe disease which affects his
“One and a half or two hours on a bus means I don’t have the energy to do something the next day, there are some things I am not doing.”
Mr Harvey said he has found travel by bus problematic with ramps not working and pushchairs already occupying wheelchair space.
His journey to the University of Westminster, where he studies, now takes 45 minutes via two buses instead of around 15 minutes on the Jubilee line from Kilburn.
Ruth Bailey, 51, of Westbere Road in Cricklewood used her ‘powered chair’ to get to Kilburn tube station for access to central London and Surrey until the ramp disappeared.
She said: “I’m really devastated.
“The ramp was easy and perfectly safe.”
Navin Shah, Labour London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow, said: “I’m appalled TFL and the Mayor of London (Boris Johnson) can’t get their act together in spite of constant lobbying from my office and service users.
“If they (ramps) were fit for purpose for the Olympics why have they been withdrawn now, or was it reckless to introduce untested ramps during the Olympics?”
Phil Hufton, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “Ramps were installed at a further additional 19 stations earlier this year. “However, Kilburn was not one of these because the platforms are higher than the train, which means that the current design of ramp is not suitable, a view endorsed by the Office of Rail Regulation.”