Something Old, Something New


Richmond – Westminster – Return

I hate travelling close to rush hour and will rearrange my whole day to avoid it. Crowds and wheelchairs don’t mix, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. If someone offers you a window in their busy schedule and you want to meet with them then needs must.

The advantage of meeting at Westminster is that it’s direct from Richmond, and because the tube starts at Richmond then finding space to get on, even in rush hour, is relatively easy. I arrived at the station to an empty platform, but when the train did arrive it was a new S Stock. Not only does this mean more space, but no help needed getting on or off.

Worryingly, although I left plenty of time  for the trip, delays rapidly ate into my cushion so that by the time we arrived I had only a couple of minutes to spare. I would have been in trouble except that the lifts, which have been undergoing maintenance for six months, were back in operation. Whoop! Emerging onto the street, and nearly running over a few tourists (what are they doing out at that time in a morning? They should still be in their hotels enjoying breakfast) I made it to The Lords on time.

Amazingly enough, just to add icing to my journey cake, the staff member on the platform when I arrived for the return trip could tell me that the next train to Richmond was again a new S Stock. This level of information is new and I hope a sign of things to come. This is the first time (that I can recall) when I have got both in and out without needing the assistance of a ramp wrangler. Double Whoop!

Of course I should have realised that my luck wouldn’t hold. The ramp failed on the first bus I tried to catch home at Richmond. The driver followed The Big Red Book guidance perfectly, trying repeatedly and letting me know what was happening, but it still meant I couldn’t get on.

Que sera sera.

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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