On Twitter this evening a Tweet was posted by @GAOTG regarding wheelchair accessible transport in London during the Olympic Games, the Twitter account appears to be that of a website called www.getaheadofthegames.com
The Get Ahead of the Games website is backed by The Mayor of London, Department of Transport, Highways Agency and our very own Transport for London, the website goes to great lengths to explain the options for wheelchair users during the Olympics for getting around London, there are references to nearly every form of transport in London and explanations as to how accessible they are it also explains that at peak times certain Underground stations where lift capacity is limited there may well be delays.
Now we are all very aware that the Buses, Trains, Tubes and DLR are not 100% wheelchair accessible, we have seen reports on the TV where wheelchair users have tried in vain to use these so called methods of transport to get around London with varying degrees of success of which none were very satisfactory. The website also goes to great lengths to explain how to use the Dial a Ride service which we all know is not an “on demand” service for the user but where instead the user has to wait their turn and most of the time has to share the van with other users.
It is a well known fact that there is only one really 100% wheelchair accessible form of transport in London and that is of course the London Taxi, since the year 2000 all London Taxis have had to be wheelchair accessible, this was obviously forced upon our trade to compensate for the lack of wheelchair accessibility of all the Public Transport services which at the time were not accessible at all to wheelchair users. It is also the same London taxi that was used to promote our bid for the games, the same London Taxi that was used in the Bejing closing ceremony to promote the fact that London would be hosting the next Olympics.
London has a fully accessible “on demand” wheelchair accessible transport fleet of London Taxis and yet the authorities who license and regulate fail to recognise the important role that our trade could play during the Olympics, it also fails to recognise that the London Taxi could provide the answer to the foreseeable problems for wheelchair users during the games. How are our wheelchair athletes going to be transported to Stratford? We are sure that the Olympic BMWs are not wheelchair accessible?
The London Taxi trade are disgusted that our own Country fails to recognise that the London Taxi trade could play an important role during these games, a Taxi Trade that is voted the best in the World year on year and which is renowned for having the most qualified and knowledgeable drivers in the World who all drive an iconic vehicle which is recognised the World over.