Mayor Sadiq Khan on Thursday committed to meeting with GLA Member Keith Prince and representatives of the Alzheimer’s Society to discuss ideas for making TfL journeys better for patients of ‘invisible impairments’, including dementia.
Provisions for Alzheimer patients who use TfL services under Khan’s Transport Strategy were on the agenda during last week’s Question Time. Reiterating his commitment to making London the world’s first dementia-friendly capital, Khan paid special emphasis to improving Underground services to accommodate patients of dementia, especially staff training. “Since I became Mayor, TfL has hired 650 new staff; they’re all being trained in assisting customers with accessibility requirements, including people with invisible impairments. A trained Dementia Friends Champion is now also delivering information sessions throughout the organization.” Khan said.
The Mayor also assured that he is working closely with TfL to make transport in London easier to navigate for people with disabilities. Bringing to attention his £200 million investment to provide step-free access at tube stations over the course of five years, he also mentioned provisions for comprehensive and intuitive signs and inclusive station and vehicle designs.
According to latest figures on London transport by the government, 17% of the city’s population is expected to be living with some form of disability that affects their daily lives by 2041. Furthermore, the government’s ‘physical accessibility’ indicator says that 40% of transport in London is still not fully accessible on an infrastructural level. The number poses a clear problem, since the travel patterns of disabled people depend largely on available services.
To make journeys safer for patients of invisible impairments, TfL launched the ‘Please offer me a seat’ badge earlier this year. The organization also provides custom information to help patients plan their journeys for maximum comfort.