Monday, February 04, 2013

Nothing about us, Without us

Now there’s a coincidence of post headings. This one is from an infographic which you can find on the website of the Redbridge Centre for Independent and Inclusive Living. It’s not strictly an inforgrahpic in the computer sense, though. It is a photograph of part of a large hand made banner in their foyer of which there are three - banners that is, not foyers.

The thing is I didn’t know they (CiiL) existed until we had an invite to a Redbridge Transport for All meeting down there on the subject of Crossrail and accessibility. There are hundreds of these Social Enterprises out there which get little or no mainstream publicity, so I like to give them a plug on this blog when I get the chance.

They are situated in what was the Loxford Clinic in South Park Drive and, as their name suggests, assist those people who use adult social services to have control of their lives and full participation in society. They do this by representing user views to the service providers and also provide some services themselves. More info on their website.

So, I took the 128 bus to Maplins in Green Lane and then took the opportunity for a pleaseant stroll through South Park, and then followed Seven Kings Water down to the CiiL building. Praise must go the users group down there (SPUG) headed up by Ann and Tony Hoad. It is a very pleasant park set off by a lake with lots of wildlife, playing fields and an outdoor gym. And it’s all free.

On to the meeting with Crossrail. There wasn’t much progress on accessibility issues on those stations within Redbridge, with the long running saga of the Chadwell Heath station lift being fully functional but not used due to lack of staff. There is a long way to go yet, 2018, but Crossrail are committed to provide fully accessible trains to current standards. The upgrades to local stations are also a long way off. Most of the work, and money, is going on in central London and Canary Wharf and quite impressive it is too. It is well worth a tour round the Crossrail website. The new stations, or rather the new developments above them all have rows of solar panels on the roof, which is good.

One interesting bit was that women are not allowed in the tunnels while they are being bored – apparently it’s unlucky, a bit like old sailing ships, and like old sailing ships the boring machines are female and have female names. Quite how they get round modern equality legislation I don’t know …

1 comment:

  1. I heard a comment recently concerning the issuing of Penalty Charges to Dial-a-Ride "minibuses" that 'violate' "Bus Only" or "Bus/Taxi Only" roads.

    So, I decided to e-mail TfL (the providers of the Dial-a-Ride service) and received the following reply:

    "Thank you for your email to Dial-a-Ride.

    Dial-a-Ride vehicles are not classed as Public Carriage vehicles in the same way as Mainstream Buses or Taxi’s.

    They are subject to certain limitations which does include use of bus and taxi lanes and restrictions at times as to where driver’s can park Dial-a-Ride vehicles.

    However should they be an issue, this will be advised at the time of booking as it would be impossible to advise all the restrictions across Greater London in one email and we would always endeavour to drop off and pick up as close to your destination as possible and drivers will always be able to offer any assistance required to and from the door.

    We do hope this assists your query."

    You can download a PDF Guide to using Dial-a-Ride from here

    Interestingly, Redbridge Central Library has a "drop-off point" ouside the front door but it not clear as to what modes of transport are permitted to use it as the road outside is restricted. Redbridge does operate transport for schoolchildren and elderly/disabled persons visiting daycare centres for example and, in common with other London Boroughs, Redbridge does offer a "Taxicard" service