UPDATE ON SERIOUS INCIDENT AT GREEN PARK STATION
I today received an e-mail from the office of the Mayor of London.
It wasn’t actually from him. It was from Liz Ashby, his Public Liaison Officer.
It informed me that as the Mayor cannot respond to every letter, my letter has been forwarded to the department concerned, i.e.TfL.
She says in what is obviously her routine stock in hand response that I should hear from them within 10 working days.
Do you know the best thing? There was no mention of being sorry to hear what had happened OR of hoping I am recovering from my injuries.
I can only see this as yet another example of the incompetence of this current Mayor of London.
I can only hope that Thursday’s election will being someone into the job who has some common sense.
THE ORIGINAL BLOG:
DISABLED MAN AND HIS MOBILITY SCOOTER TURNED OVER AT GREEN PARK STATION
Green Park Station
After a serious incident at Green Park Station, I have today sent the following open e-mail letter to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London and purse-string holder of Transport for London (TfL):
Thursday, 26 April 2018
OPEN LETTER TO:
SADIQ KHAN, Mayor of London
Sent by e-mail.
Re: Dangerous flaws in Disabled Travel Information.
Dear Mr Khan.
Due to multiple points of damage to my spine (plus other problems), I am forced to use a mobility scooter when travelling.
Yesterday (25-4-18)at around 7.15am I undertook a journey from Shoreditch High Street to Kings Cross, which involved changing trains at Canada Water and Green Park stations.
Prior to this journey, as I had not used the Green Park link before, I had checked with Assisted Travel Services, staff at Shoreditch High Street station (my starting point), as well as TfL publications the Step-free Tube Guide, and the Colour Large Print Tube Map, and the line map on the Jubilee line train. All of these sources confirmed that Green Park interchange between Jubilee line Westbound and Piccadilly Line Northbound was perfectly safe, as it is listed in all sources as wheelchair safe.
As the lifts are still under refurbishment at Canada Water, I arranged for help at both of my interchange points on starting my journey.
All went well until I tried to leave the train at Green Park.
Although I was given a green light from all sources, I had arranged assistance at my interchanges, my train arrived at Green Park.
As there was no sign of the assistance and I had not been expecting any problems, as the other passengers were getting off, and there was every likelihood that the doors were about to close, I reversed my mobility scooter to get off (as I had got on driving forward, and there was no chance to turn my scooter due to the number of other passengers).
As soon as my rear wheels left the train, I found my entire mobility scooter rear up to rest on its back onto the platform, leaving me still in the scooter but now lying on my back, wondering what had happened. Passengers all around and the assistant I had booked all came rushing over to help.
What had happened was that the platform was only wheelchair accessible for the length of one carriage, for which there was a raised platform area (this was where my pre-arranged assistance was expecting me to be). This fact had not been passed to anyone who was in the need to know, especially me.
After a short time, I started doing a systematic mental check of my spine and other joints, and as I could not find any major injury, I slid out of the scooter, and slowly and carefully got myself into a standing position (still expecting the spine to be further damaged), and found that I had somehow escaped without further spinal damage. One of the passengers around me was an off duty doctor, who offered her help.
Once I was clear of the scooter, the surrounding crowd helped lower my scooter to its normal position, and I used its seat to sit on and pull myself together, and assess my situation. Through the adrenalin and the many pain killers that I am already on) which was still running, I could only identify an injured left elbow.
The scooter, an older bulky but robust model survived almost unscathed.
After a few moments of bringing myself together, I continued my journey, as I had to catch a train from Euston.
Once the adrenalin eased off, I found that as well as injuring my left elbow, I had also injured my right thumb and my left knee (which is already a replaced one!).
I consider myself very lucky that this incident did not result in further major damage to my spine, which could very easily have been snapped. The only thing which prevented this was the precautions I take, namely that I keep both armrests in the lowered position, as this kept me in the padded seat, and the fact that in any crowded area I reduce the speed regulator to what I call creep mode, half speed on the lower power option.
Sadly this is not the first time that I have found that misleading information for the disabled traveller has been provided. The first two to come in mind is that you cannot access the Underground from Liverpool Street Station, although the guides say you can, and the other major incident I had was when leaving Baker Street (before I used my scooter, when I was on crutches), where the station was listed as step free to street level, but there is a large flight of stairs to reach street level.
Following yesterday’s incident, I must ask that you carry out a full and thorough review of all stations on an individual level, which are listed as accessible to those with various disabilities immediately, and update your publications and advice given by the Assisted Travel service.
I believe I was very lucky to have survived this incident with only minor injuries.
The ironic thing was that I was on my way to attend the Naidex Exhibition in Birmingham, to consider buying a new top line scooter, but I couldn’t decide on one which would have survived incidents such as yesterdays.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Mark W. Mapstone
Do you think I’ll get an answer? Some hopes!