Intended route – Richmond — Hammersmith — Kings X — Newark Northgate — Lincoln — Taxi — Est 3hrs 10
Actual Route – Richmond — Earls Court — Kings X — Newark Northgate — Lincoln — Walk — Act 6hrs
Having recently started using the Underground (you can find the story in the previous blog entry) I thought I might try out the access at Hammersmith. I knew there was a ramp there for the Olympics but that it was removed afterwards while the lift was serviced/upgraded. Now that there were new ramps across the network I was confident to try it again.
So I checked with Staff at Richmond who assured me there was a ramp, put me on the train and called ahead to make sure I was met. This was a partial success in that I was met by not one, but two members of underground staff. I’m not sure why it took two of them. I think it must have been to act in each others defence in case I kicked off because they came to tell me they didn’t have a ramp and that I couldn’t get off at Hammersmith.
This was inconvenient, but not unexpected. I was able to simply change at Earls Court instead, but it does mean I have some work to do to investigate why. A ramp at Hammersmith would be great for me personally.
As if one incident wasn’t enough, when I got to Lincoln the only available taxis were TX1s, London style black cabs. This is a problem because Lincoln Council require all wheelchairs to face backwards. My chair, like most electric chairs, is too long to fit in facing backwards. As a side note it doesn’t give me anywhere to hold on to for comfort either.
The upshot is a 5 minute cab ride turned into a 25 minute walk in the cold and wet up Lincoln’s one, only and very steep hill.