Live updates

Boris Johnson declines challenge to spend a day in a wheelchair

The Mayor's office has confirmed to ITV London that Boris Johnson has declined a challenge by paralympian Hannah Cockcroft to spend a day in a wheelchair using the tube network to get around.

The Mayor thanks Hannah for her passionate efforts to highlight the challenges wheelchair users face using public transport and will ask TfL to work with her to gain further understanding of the issues she raises.

He is very aware of the difficulties that are posed by our 150 year-old Tube network and that the picture for disabled people travelling in the capital is far from perfect.

London has one of the most accessible transport networks in the world, but delivering continued improvements is a key priority for the Mayor.

– Mayor of London

Advertisement

Disability Confident scheme has already won backing from major businesses

Just 45% of London's disabled people of working age are in work and a new roadshow hopes to bosst these numbers. The Disability Confidence Roadshow will open today fronted by businessman and Falklands veteran Simon Weston.

The event is designed to increase the confidence of London's employers to recruit disabled people in the capital. Sponsored by Barclays Bank it will be attended by companies and businesses such as GlaxcoSmithKline, Morgan Chase, BP and Morgan Stanley

Mr Weston said 'What I want employers to take away from this conference is that disabled people cane be some of your best employees. We're some of the most determined workers, who go the extra mile to secure results.'

Advertisement

  1. Tamisha Archibald

Our researcher Tamisha Archibald assesses Boris' new bus for wheelchair users

Tamisha Archibald road tests Boris' new bus

"I arrived at Victoria station and navigated the narrow pathways and a row of bollards to catch the number 38. When the bus's ramp extended it didn't land quite level with the pavement, but with the help of a foot I was able to board the bus easily.

I didn't feel that there was any more space than other buses in the wheelchair bay, but the space was adequate.

The journey was pretty smooth but we weren't travelling at peak time and the new bus wasn't busy.

When I wanted to get off, the disabled bell worked fine and I left using the ramp.

For me today’s journey aboard the new bus was a good one, but for a disabled passenger the pitfalls will be the same as on any other London bus.

This was a good journey. Who knows what will happen next time?"

"TfL has put design over the needs of disabled Londoners" say disability rights activists

In a statement on the New Bus for London, Transport for All - who were involved in the consultation on the design of the bus - said:

“The New Bus for London is a missed opportunity for a bus that works for all Londoners, including wheelchair and pushchair users.

TfL could have been so much more ambitious, and created a new bus as a beacon of accessibility and inclusion. Instead, TfL have put swish design over the needs of disabled Londoners.

At a time when TfL are scaling back the stepfree station programme because of ‘budgetary constraints’, it is obscene that £11.37m is being spent on a bus which does not serve the needs of disabled Londoners."