It took me a long time before I actually went on the tube for the first time with Alfie and the pram. Why? Because it’s London, that’s why.
Public transport in London is not very accessible for people who travel with wheels or for other reasons aren’t able to get up and down stairs easily.
I am fortunate to be able to get around. I just have a pram with me now and then when out and about with little bubs. But I can choose what way to travel across this city. Many people do not have a choice.
One day I took the bus to Finsbury Park as I needed to go by tube down to Hammersmith. Sure I could’ve taken buses the whole way but it’d take me half the day to get there.
As I arrive at the tube station I got a bit lost of course as my spirit animal is Dory in Finding Nemo, let’s not forget that (forget what, who, when?). I found a lift and got in with Alfie, pram and all. Only to then find myself on a train platform. Not on a tube platform. So in the lift we go again. I find someone to ask and get pointed in the right direction.
A little stressed and nervous I get to the right entrance. Before I tap in with my travel card to go through I ask where the lift is for the southbound Piccadilly Line and find out it’s out of service.
Mind you at the time of me asking this there were easily six TFL staff hanging around that entrance. No one offered to help me. No one offered anything really. They just kept saying it was out of service. I am pretty sure they wanted me to ‘find a different route’ but fuck that and said: ‘Well one of you are just gonna have to help me with my pram.’
I figured if I would have asked for help I might have been turned down. Instead I just made it clear that I assumed I would be helped. And it worked!
One of the guys did step forward and I obviously had to carry Alfie in my arms and he carried the pram down the stairs to the platform. Amazing.
After that little hick up the journey was easy peasy. Alfie obviously flirted with everyone and made loads of friends.
I haven’t been on the tube since then. The tube station closest to us does not have a lift or escalators. Only stairs. Same with the train station.
As I am not allowed to wear a sling or harness with Alfie (labour injuries which I can expand on in another post at some point) I am dependent on stations that has either a lift or escalators to and from platforms.
I am very much looking forward to going to Stockholm and visiting friends and family for a couple of weeks this summer where the public transport is a lot more accessible to say the very least.
Enjoy your day and hopefully you’ll get to sleep well, even if it’s only five minutes at a time.