IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Station lift failures: We’re treated like second-class citizens

14 December, 2018

Canonbury, above, and Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Overground stations had lifts out of action for 30 days in 10 months to the end of October. Picture: Matt Buck

• AS a wheelchair user I’m grateful for your piece on lift breakdowns at stations in the borough, (Regular lift breakdowns at Islington stations spark passenger anger, December 7).

I rely on these lifts to travel to work and for leisure. The frequency with which they’re out of service is unacceptable. In my case it means having to re-route or use the bus, making me late for work and other appointments. This is exacerbated by the fact that a minority of tube, Overground and suburban rail stations have wheelchair access.

We’re living in the closing years of the 21st century’s second decade. The Disability Discrimination Act was passed by Parliament 23 years ago, reinforced by the Equality Act 2010, yet I and other mobility-impaired citizens still face daily discrimination.

Aside from public transport, I’m barred from most workplaces, shops, restaurants, cafés and pubs in the borough. New commercial developments, offices, workshops and housing continue to be built without disabled access or facilities such as accessible toilets. I and fellow disabled residents are treated as second-class citizens.

The council, London Mayor and Assembly, central government, businesses and charities must join with disabled people to ensure access is a reality not an aspirat­ion. We’ve waited long enough. The time is now.

STEVEN POWELL
Highbury Station Road, N1

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