Increasingly accessible but confusing info
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair
TFL are introducing new tube trains which increases access. Kew is now a station that doesn't need ramps with the new tubes on the District Line if you are a wheelchair user. However info on this online and with staff is erratic and confusing. Also get off east bound if going to Kew Gardens.
Transport & Parking
Traveled on the District line for 1st time as wheelchair user. Online info says ask staff to get ramps out. However arriving at Kew staff had to be shouted at by me and the tube driver to get a ramp out. Thought this was just a communication breakdown until on return journey was told staff weren't "allowed" to use ramps when the new trains came into station - "not safe". New trains now low enough and close enough to the platform that ramps no longer needed. Rolled on OK but gap is close to max I can get my chair over and not something I would just guess at.
Its great that TFL provide ramps at some stations on the District line and even better that the new trains will allow wheelchair users to get on and off without ramps at SOME stations but information online and to staff needs to be updated rapidly. Some stations e.g. Westminster are on a curve and so the gap is variable and often still too large for my chair. So if new trains equals no ramps at some stations all info needs to be updated. Please note the new trains are absolutely lovely once you are on them - loads more space for maneuvering wheelchairs.
The staff were great but communications need to improve. The staff at Westminster station and the tube drivers did not know about the change in accessibility at Kew with the new trains. Staff need to be given discretion to provide ramps in transition period as us wheelchair users are getting used to the new set up.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
All staff and online info must be updated on which stations are made fully accessible without ramps with the new tube trains.