Comparative Accessibility: Barcelona

Jon and I just got back from an amazing honeymoon in Barcelona, full of exciting adventures and memorable experiences. During the course of 8 days, we probably saw every inch of Barcelona, from the bustling city centre to its quieter outer reaches. What made our ambitious wandering and sightseeing so smooth and painless was Barcelona’s incredibly accessible public transport network, which is by far one of the best in all of Europe. This post will be a comprehensive overview of the state and quality of accessibility in Barcelona.

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Comparative Accessibility: Paris

Jon and I are currently on our way down to Barcelona for our week-long honeymoon trip in Barcelona. Rather than dealing with the hassle of flying and worrying about whether Jon’s wheelchair would make it in one piece, we decided to take the train to experience the joys of high-speed rail. The journey is divided into three parts: London to Paris via Eurostar, a cross-city bus between the Paris terminals, and Paris to Barcelona via TGV. This post will mainly focus on accessibility in and around Paris as well as the issues that we had while planning our route, while the next will cover accessibility in Barcelona.

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Standard Trains vs. Non-Standard Platforms

I must apologise for my absence the past few weeks. Partially, this is due to the fact that I recently got married (!) and spent the past week running around in preparation for what was a truly amazing day. The other part is that this summer has been disappointingly quiet with regards to new step-free stations, including delays at Victoria and most of the inaccessible stations on the eastern branch of TfL Rail. Nevertheless, I am delighted to see that level boarding has continued to make headlines, both good and bad, and gain momentum. As we get closer to the opening of the Elizabeth Line as well as the introduction of new low-floor Stadler Rail trains for Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, and the upcoming Wales & Borders franchise, more information on the exact nature of their accessibility will become known. Continue reading Standard Trains vs. Non-Standard Platforms

Level Boarding: Solutions for the Mainlines

On the last post, I outlined the history and the main challenges to achieving level boarding on London’s legacy railway systems. And so, the next few posts will look at solutions that are being considered in order to increase the provision of level boarding. Due to the nature of these solutions, cases outside of London will be examined to provide comparison. Unfortunately, the post will also highlight the reasons why level boarding will continue to be a very slow work in progress  unless there is a strong push from passengers and lawmakers to demand equal access for all instead of “turn up and hope.”  Continue reading Level Boarding: Solutions for the Mainlines