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A Walthamstow resident has asked if I will pledge to support the Leonard Cheshire campaign demanding better rail transport for disabled people.
The Green Party’s election manifesto states that we would fund local authorities to improve the appearance and facilities of bus stops, bus stations and train stations, to make them more user-friendly and convenient for both passengers and transport staff. This includes the provision of more public toilets and ensuring full accessibility for disabled people.
Going beyond the manifesto, the long term goals, as published on our website, have long stated that “A comprehensive plan for fully accessible transport will be implemented so that public transport will be usable by all members of the public. In addition, the necessary arrangements will be made to meet any extra reasonable transportation needs of disabled people beyond that which can be provided through general services.”
It is clear that the Green Party would not only ensure funding but actively push for a comprehensive plan to provide better rail travel for disabled people.
Locally, the Green Party has been looking into accessibility issues. For example, we know that all of the underground and overground stations in Walthamstow have varying levels of step-free access, but none have total step-free access from street level to train. Our initial investigations show that improvements could be made if funding can be secured. This is something the Green Party will be pushing for locally, and we know similar campaigns will be happening across London and the country, led by other local Green Party campaigners.
Step-free access isn’t the only issue facing disabled users, though. We must do more to remove all barriers to access, to ensure no-one is excluded, isolated, or ignored because of a disability. As such, I have signed the pledge.