Joni Mitchell was Colourblind

13/12/15

Richmond – Hammersmith – Kings Cross – Return

As I’ve said before, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but it’s often not the quickest. The problem is delays that are introduced when you need help with ramps etc. Sometimes it’s better to use step free routes.

Of course few routes have true and complete equality of access. This is demonstrated every time at the bus stop outside Hammersmith & City Underground station. There is a perpetual traffic jam here, any time of day or night, and the bus always stops short to let passengers off who want to walk. Of course this option isn’t open to wheelchairs needing the ramp who must wait up to an extra 10 minutes (depending on traffic) to get to the stop proper.

This time is somewhat saved by being able to wheel straight on to the shiny new, level access underground trains, and wheel off again at Kings Cross which has a raised platform.

I’ve lived in London a few years now and there are two things I can’t get used to. Firstly travelling 90 minutes or more to get to a night out is no big deal. Where I came from anything over 20 minutes was considered not worth it. Secondly, and more amazingly, at midnight on a Sunday London is still open, buzzing and public transport is still functioning. I don’t mean just in the centre either, but in the local hubs too.

This means grabbing a bite to eat before jumping back on the underground is easy, and a good idea as the queues for food at Hammersmith were not funny.

Unexpectedly the bus home from Hammersmith was nearly empty, and became our own private Big Red Taxi after dropping off the only other passenger after half a dozen stops. The lack of traffic and stops meant the usually 20+ minute journey took closer to 12 minutes. Not even Uber, or maybe especially Uber, could beat that. Sadly, the driver was a little keen and slowed us down by stopping one stop too soon, but she was happy enough to fix that and go one stop further when I pointed out her error.

Do you know, I think all other traffic should be banned from being on the roads when I’m using them. Am I being unreasonable?

 

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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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