Monday, 21 May 2012

Success: Improved access on Tooting Bec Gardens

It's taken around eight months, but we have finally got Transport for London to improve pedestrian access on Tooting Bec Gardens.

For those not familiar with the road, its a very busy one way street which runs from Tooting Common up to Streatham High Road. It is very hard to cross with two or three lanes of traffic, except at the pedestrian crossings at either end, which are about 250-300m away from each other.

There were three vehicle crossovers which were impossible for wheelchairs to go across, and also difficult for others with mobility impairments, about three quarters of the way down one side of the road. If you reached them and couldn't get past them, the only option was to go back a long way to the nearest crossing, or take your life in your hands and go into the road. But even on the other side there is a large tree at the junction near Tooting Common, which is very hard to navigate past in a wheelchair without tipping off the pavement into the road.

I approached Transport for London (who have responsibility for them as this is a Red Route) back in October last year about these issues. After a significant amount of chasing, a couple of weeks ago they finally got around to ramping the vehicle crossovers. The work it seems, in the end took less than a day to complete, but will make a huge difference to anyone with mobility difficulties. I am still chasing about widening the pavement around the tree!

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