Saturday, 29 May 2010

Doesn't recommend the Tube on Crutches

My odyessy on crutches continues, while I learn to understand the issues which people who have mobility difficulties have when out and about.

The day starts off, with me having to "walk" on crutches to Great Knolly's Street from Jackson's corner, I don't know about 3/4 of a mile, because I left something on a bus and had to pick it up. Usefully Reading Buses doesn't have a bus stop near the depot. Then I had to walk, stomp, back to the station. I had to get from Paddington to the Imperial War Museum. So for those that don't know the Tube trip is simple stay on the Bakerloo from Padders to Lambeth North.

Get to Paddington, stomp to the Tube, ah, only way down is steps of escalator, it is easier to use the Bakerloo exit near platform 9 and 10 but this has steps. Stomp to the gate and go down the escalator. With crutches I take up a bit of space on the escalator and a kind chap waits behind me as he can't get by me. This poor chap is sworn at by a woman aged about 20 as she tells him to get out of the F+++ing way. All this because he was giving me space. The Tube was fine except, despite being on crutches no one wants to let you sit donw so stood for 20mins.

Get to Lambeth North easy, except you have to get up somesteps to get to the lift, only one working. Then another 1/4 mile stomp to the Museum. Oh at the Museum, which I love, the lifts don't work and there are a million steps.

So feeling a tadge worn out and have to reverse the whole thing to get home. Almost exactly the same, except there are no seats on the train. While I am wondering whether I can cope on crutches for 30 mins a lovely lady gives up her seat. Thank you so much.

Get to Reading so have to get a bus home, a simple yomp from the Station to Jacksons Corner, another 1/4 mile. Then the bus home and another 1/4mile yomp up Hamilton Rd. Was done in when I got home.

So my judgement, the Tube is utterly useless if you have any mobility difficulty, if you aren't being abused by pushy Londoners, none will give you a seat and there are about a million steps. Reading Buses are ok, except the bus stops are not quite where you want them, especially in the centre of town.

BUT Reading Borough Council, STILL hasn't replaced the bus shelter by Alfred Sutton and my arms hurt allot. So if you have mobility problems, don't go on the Tube, get a Taxi.