15 minutes of fame, again


Richmond – Waterloo – Taxi – Taxi return

Over the last few years the media has reported an increasing number of stories related to disability, whether related to government policy, campaigns for access and disability rights or ‘inspirational’ stories. Often the media outlet wants a talking head to comment on the story, or debate the rights and wrongs. As a campaigner and blogger of sorts and member of Transport for All, I occasionally get asked to be that talking head.

Today was the judgement in the Doug Paulley V First Bus Appeal Court case. The BBC report is here. This was a significant piece of news, and potentially placed parents and wheelies at odds, and a good scrap always makes for good TV. The demand for talking heads was high and I was asked to do ITN’s London Evening News (no, the footage isn’t available online!).

The first stage of the journey I’ve written about many times here, by train from Richmond to Waterloo. Mostly it’s boring and just works, as it did today. Fortunately I was travelling against the flow of commuter traffic or the situation would have been very different I suspect.

From Waterloo the ITN studios are 2 miles away. Often I’d be prepared to ‘walk’ this as it’s usually a lot less hassle but time, and temperature, was a factor. Although the distance is only 2 miles the bus takes nearly 30 minutes. Ironically, thanks to the ruling, I couldn’t be certain I’d be able to get on anyway, especially in rush hour.  I chose therefore to resort to a taxi to cover the last mile (well, last 2 miles technically.)

Sidenote – ITN had lined up a mother and buggy user as part of the same interview. Sadly for them we spent the entire discussion agreeing that it wasn’t a ‘them and us’ fight, but it was necessary for the bus companies to provision services with adequate space for both as is done in Brighton, Fife and a number of other places.

I had planned to reverse the route for the journey home, but it was late and very cold by the time I’d finished. I had booked the trip back to Waterloo, but talking with the driver it was clear he didn’t have any more jobs booked for the evening so we negotiated a different destination. Yes it cost more, but someone else was picking up the tab and it’s so easy and convenient.

I could really get used to having a personal door to door chauffeur on call. Sadly my bank manager would have something to say about this.



About Alan

I'm an Economist, Geek, Campaigner & wheelchair user who's been using all forms of public transport for 20+ years.
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