Tube Strike Isn't So Shocking For Wheelchair Users - Most Stations Are Inaccessible To Them All Year Round

As the Tube strike hits London and commuters complain of travel chaos, this infographic reminds us of the pitiful access wheelchair users have to the Tube all year round.

Barely one in three Tube stations have step-free access of any kind, the infographic from Leonard Cheshire Disability reveals.

One of the worst is the Central line, where one in ten stations can be used - while the Waterloo and City line can't be accessed at all.

"Every day is like a Tube strike for wheelchair users," the charity says, adding that the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is the only line that can claim to be step-free from street level to the train.

The DLR line's accessibility "should be applauded, but even this does little to improve the overall situation," Leonard Cheshire Disability says.

The Bakerloo line is another challenge for people who use wheelchairs, and even the recently modernised Jubilee and Overground lines have just half of their stations accessible.

The infographic was created in April 2014 - and since then not a single station has become accessible.

Last year, the stark reality of disabled access to London transport was highlighted through a parody of the viral video 'Race The Tube'.

The original showed a man running overground to beat a Tube train to the next station, while the wheelchair version followed a man in a wheelchair also attempting to beat the train, with a thought-provoking twist at the end.

Anthony, a disability campaigner, took on the race challenge to point out that 75% of underground stations don't have step free access. Mansion House, which appeared in both videos, has steps and no lifts.

Barney Cullum, a spokesperson for Leonard Cheshire said: “Disabled people commuting to work are disproportionately affected by crowding at peak times on days when there aren’t tube strikes, even more so when there are.

"Furthermore there are many disabled people who can work and want to work, but are not currently because overcrowding prevents public transport from being accessible.

"Having accessible transport options to easily get wheelchairs users and people with other disabilities from homes to workplaces is essential for improving access to employment and education opportunities.

"We are pleased that Transport For London recently committed to making around 40 more Tube and Overground stations step-free in the next 10 years, including Victoria, Whitechapel, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street.

"Providing accessible transport is only possible through steady investment in the network and there is still a long way to go.”

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