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TfL to hold event highlighting access innovations for older and disabled passengers

Transport for London is to hold a special ‘Access All Areas’ exhibition to highlight new innovations that will help more older and disabled people to use its network.

The free event, to be held on 2 October at ExCel London, aims to raise awareness of the new innovations TfL are investing in to improve accessibility and also provide a safe environment for disabled people to try them out.

It comes after research showed that 61% of London’s one million disabled people would like to make more public transport journeys.

Some of the interactive exhibits include a new “innovation bus” which alerts passengers standing on the lower deck when there are seats available upstairs, freeing up space for wheelchair users downstairs.

There will also be full-scale mock-ups of London Underground and rail stations, with ramps onto trains, and street environments that have ‘talking’ bollards that can give directions to blind and visually-impaired people. Alongside these attendees will be able to find real busses, taxis, coaches, and Dial-a-Ride vehicles.

London’s deputy mayor for transport, Isabel Dedring, said: “Making London's transport network more accessible is a top priority for the Mayor. To boost accessibility we have recently introduced the UK's first bridge style ramp on the Underground and a new 'turn up and go' service on London Overground. Of course, there is still more to do and that is why we have a raft of improvements planned to make it easier to travel around the capital.”

Attendees will be able to take part in seminars hosted by TfL board member Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Tube managing director Mike Brown and surface transport managing director Leon Daniels.

Representatives and exhibitions from every part of London’s public transport network will be there, as will those from bus and train operators, London Councils and London TravelWatch, among others.

TfL’s managing director of planning, Michele Dix, said, “We’re trying to make the TfL network more accessible every year, partly through major infrastructure change, such as putting in new lifts, where we can, but just as importantly through the applied use of new innovations such as manual boarding ramps.

“This exhibition is a chance for everyone to experience some of these innovations in a controlled environment, and to become a bit more familiar with our network.”

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