Vulnerable commuters can’t access one in three Havering bus stops

JUST one in three bus stops in Havering are accessible to the disabled and elderly, a dire new report reveals.

In a cruel twist, the borough with the highest number of pensioners in London also has the lowest percentage of bus stops accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Of Havering’s 659 bus stops, just 219 are accessible (33 per-cent), a report by the London Assembly Transport Committee revealed.

It trails far behind Southwark, which had 71 per-cent accessible bus stops and Wandsworth, which had 70 per-cent.

Accessibility refers to obstacles such as lamp columns and litter bins blocking bus stops.

The number of people in Havering with reduced mobility is now estimated to be 29,261, with that figure expected to swell to 30,627 by 2018.

Chairman of the Transport Committee, Val Shawcross, said: “The fact that hundreds of thousands of Londoners cannot use the public transport network with relative ease is simply unacceptable.

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“Transport for London must get on top of the situation now or risk leaving an increasing number of people excluded from travelling on trains, Tubes and buses.

“Despite funding pressures, we believe there are measures that could be put in place, reasonably cheaply and quickly, that would dramatically improve the transport experience for people with reduced mobility.”

A Transport for London spokesman said: “Transport for London takes the issue of accessibility very seriously. All 8,500 London buses are low floor and wheelchair accessible. The vast majority of London’s 19,500 bus stops can be used by most bus passengers, including wheelchair users, and we currently have around 50 per cent of stops which are fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

“We work closely with local councils to ensure that, where possible, when streetworks are being carried out work we also undertake work to make the bus stop fully DDA complaint at the same time.”

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