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Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… A court has found that London Underground twice discriminated against a disabled campaigner by failing to warn him that vital lifts that would allow him to complete his journey on the capital’s tube network were out-of-order.Doug Paulley found himself stranded and confronted with inaccurate and incomplete information and unhelpful staff on trips to London in October 2016 and May 2017.A district judge has now ruled that London Underground breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments for its disabled customers by failing to let Paulley know about lift closures on its network.The judge ruled that it was not reasonable for London Underground to expect wheelchair-users and other passengers who rely on lifts to check the organisation’s website for closures before every journey they make.London Underground will now have to do more to alert passengers when its lifts are out of order across the 12 stations with step-free access in the central zone, which should include placing white boards at station entrances to ensure passengers know about problems before they start their journey.The judge said that such measures “would not in any way place an unreasonable burden on the defendant’s resources”.He also made it clear that he knew Paulley was more interested in the principles he was fighting for than in securing damages from London Underground.On the first occasion, Paulley had been hoping to travel to King’s Cross from Westminster tube station, but he was left confused by a sign informing him that one lift was out of order and directing him to another entrance.When he reached that entrance, he found that lift was also out of order.Seven months later, he was travelling to King’s Cross by tube to catch a rail connection but had not been told that a lift at the station was out of order (pictured).After initially refusing to speak to him face-to-face or discuss other options other than catching another tube to retrace his journey, returning to the surface and catching a bus back to King’s Cross, London Underground staff eventually agreed to help Paulley up the escalator in his wheelchair.Although Paulley was able to catch his train, the judge said he was “unimpressed by the handling of the incident” by London Underground, which had initially taken an “intransigent” attitude, increasing Paulley’s frustration and causing him “detriment and worry” until a solution was found.It is not the first time that Paulley has succeeded with a legal bid to persuade London Underground to improve the information it provides to disabled passengers.Six years ago, after settling another case out-of-court, London Underground promised to update more frequently its website and written guides which show which tube stations are accessible.But Paulley says London Underground failed to do that.He was critical this week of London Underground’s failure to settle his latest case out-of-court, which has now led to him being awarded £1,000 in damages by the judge for the King’s Cross incident and £800 for the Westminster incident.He said the “sloppy lack of adherence” to procedures and standards designed to minimise disabled people’s inconvenience by London Underground staff had been “shameful and unacceptable”.He said: “I am amazed and disturbed that London Underground would spend so long, and so much money, fighting to defend such behaviour.”He said its staff had failed to follow “clear procedures” as to what they could and should do to warn disabled people about lift failures at two key step-free interchanges, Westminster and King’s Cross.He said: “If they don’t follow them there, then what chance have we that they will follow them elsewhere?”He added: “I very much hope that in future they adhere properly to suitable procedures for disseminating information and taking action when lifts break, such that other disabled people don’t go through what I did.”Mark Evers, London Underground’s chief customer officer, said: “Making London’s transport network more accessible is one of our top priorities and we understand how challenging it can be for our customers when lifts are taken out of service, either for planned maintenance or due to a fault.“We apologise to Mr Paulley for failing to provide him with the relevant information to carry out his journey.“We try hard to alert our customers in advance to any issues, for example through real-time lift information on our website, and to provide up-to-date information at stations and on trains.“We are also introducing an initiative at all step-free stations which involves distributing prompt cards to station staff to remind them of the actions to take when a lift goes out of service.“However, we acknowledge that there’s more to do. We will be considering the county court’s ruling in relation to these cases.” London Underground said it had introduced a real-time information app for station staff which allows them to report lift faults – via their iPads – directly to the control centre.It is also installing “poster frames” next to lifts in these stations and printing posters with key alternative routes that can be quickly used if there is a lift fault, a system which should be introduced at all step-free stations by the spring.The court victory is just the latest of a series of legal bids and other campaign actions taken by Paulley in a bid to push service-providers to improve the country’s inaccessible public transport network.His most high-profile success came almost exactly two years ago, when the Supreme Court ruled that First Bus had breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people under the Equality Act through its “first come, first served” policy on the use of wheelchair spaces.But Paulley has also secured high-profile campaign successes after taking on providers across the coach, train and taxi network.And only last week, Disability News Service reported how he revealed the inaccessibility of supposedly wheelchair-accessible coach services provided by National Express after taking nine journeys on the same day and experiencing significant problems on all but one of them.
Month: July 2019 Page 1 of 14
Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Theresa May unveiled her “new bold offer” at 4pm yesterday. Before her speech had even finished, Tory MPs were publicly declaring that they would not be voting for the withdrawal agreement bill next month. The number of parliamentarians from both sides of the Commons saying the same has continued to rise. We knew the Prime Minister’s last-ditch effort to get her deal passed was unlikely to convince Labour or go down particularly well – but this reception is worse than anyone imagined. She has actually gone backwards, with 35 Tories (at the time of writing) switching from ‘aye’ last time to ‘no’ this time.The Prime Minister’s “10-point offer” was designed to give something to everyone, but none of the proposals were sufficient to convince any single camp. To her backbenchers, she said the government would be legally obliged to seek alternative arrangements to the backstop by 2020 – but only to seek, not find. To the Labour leadership, she proposed a “customs compromise” – not permanent customs union membership. To Labour MPs in Leave seats such as Lisa Nandy, she suggested a workers’ rights bill and a pledge to match EU rules for goods, protecting just-in-time manufacturing – yet we can’t expect members of this group to stick their necks out and vote for the deal when it is certain not to pass.Possibly the most controversial offer was the one made to MPs in favour of holding another referendum. Any rapprochement between the government and this group is outrageous to most Conservatives. And the bid wasn’t effective, because her generous offer was simply to facilitate a vote during the passage of the bill and implement the result of this vote. Apart from angering her own side, the problems with this plan are that: a) MPs would get a vote on the idea without the PM’s scheme anyway, thanks to amendments; b) pro-PV Labour MPs are not willing to vote for the deal at second reading before there is a chance of a referendum being attached; and c) everyone knows that there is no Commons majority for another referendum. The government has overlooked the fact that a public vote is regarded as a means to an end (i.e. stopping Brexit), not an end in itself.The Prime Minister must face the wrath of MPs at PMQs this afternoon, followed by a Brexit statement. But speculation is rife that the WAB will not be brought forward after recess in early June as promised – why would May want her final act as Prime Minister to be a defeat on the deal even worse than her last, possibly the worst of all? One Labour MP I spoke to last night, who had been discussing the response to her speech with Tories, thought she might go during recess, after the European elections, at some point next week. It’s difficult to see how Conservative MPs could allow her to cling on for much longer.Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Theresa May /Brexit /Withdrawal agreement bill /
SUPER League and Saints are delighted to offer one lucky fan the opportunity to meet Russell Crowe who together with Super League will host an exclusive evening in London to show his new film The Water Diviner.And not just that we will also provide the lucky winner with a pair of tickets to all three World Club Series games including the sold out World Club Challenge match this Sunday between St Helens and Crowe’s South Sydney Rabbitohs.The movie superstar will be in London this week as he prepares to attend the World Club Challenge match and to promote his latest film The Water Diviner. The exclusive screening will be held in London this Thursday evening (February 19).The Water Diviner is a historical fictional drama, marking Russell Crowe’s much-anticipated directorial debut. The film, starring the award-winning actor alongside Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Cem Yilmaz and Yilmaz Erdogan, tells the story of an Australian farmer, Connor (played by Crowe), who travelled to Turkey in 1919 following the Battle of Gallipoli in an effort to try and find his three missing sons.The World Club Series sees the best Rugby League players in the world fight it out over three days to determine the world’s best Rugby League team competition. The action kicks off on Friday February 20 with Warrington Wolves vs St George Illawarra Dragons, before Wigan Warriors take on Brisbane Broncos on Saturday February21.Things will reach an exciting climax on Sunday February 22 with the 2014 First Utility Super League champions, St Helens and current NRL Grand Final winners, South Sydney Rabbitohs, going head-to-head in front of a sell-out crowd for the right to be crowned World Club Champions.All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning this FANTASTIC prize is email [email protected] with Crowe Comp in the subject line and state why you should win this fantastic prize!Please enclose a contact number too.Deadline for entries is 9am Tuesday.