Transport CommitteeWritten evidence from Adrian Traharne (DAT 89)

I have several suggested “improvements” identified through my own experiences of frequent travel with my Guide Dog. Nothing drastic but things that will dramatically change my/others bid for freedom to get about. Happy to speak to the Committee directly too.

Toilets for assistance dogs at major stations/key hubs. It’s a problem convincing the dog to toilet where there are distractions and where you normally have cause to chastise him ie in the middle of the pavement or busy pedestrian route.

A review/nuanced debate on the continued use of the Wheelchair symbol for “rally/collection” points, toilets etc. This creates a benchmark for the perceptions of disability. Clearly this influences others behaviour towards non-visible disabilities and for me (a Guide Dog owner) it does not resonate. So perhaps something the Committee could Champion??

Clearer signage at stations. Lit up signs would be ideal. Something akin to neon but not so garish! Traditional signs are lost in the background.

Toilets need something other than a silhouette of man/woman. Same as above—something that is lit and clear as to gender.

On arriving at stations you are asked to present yourself to a member of staff who will commence the assistance. Problem being you can’t see who is a member of staff if you are partially sighted/blind. So a contact number would be preferable and an arranged meeting point.

Westminster council need something that makes their traditionally painted black street furniture stand out. As it is it’s camouflaged at night for pedestrian traffic (more so for partially sighted) and invariably near/around bus stops. This lends itself to the idea of safe routes for disabled with all the “bells and whistles” that mean you can get N/S/E/W. So perhaps more to explore here.

Hooks/loops for attaching assistance dogs leads on trains/buses.

Black Cabs have a new app called Hailo which is useful. There might even be thought given to static pick up points for people requiring assistance. This then gives them priority in the cab queue too. Being partially sighted means you can’t always know if the cab lat is on ie. available to hire. So something that provides communication with the driver is perfect.

May 2013

Prepared 13th September 2013