We’re so proud to see Momentum’s own Katie Lamb – and her idea for London – featured in New London Quarterly, issue 40.
Katie explains more about her idea…
“Through my work as a transport planner, I noticed that the method that transport accessibility is measured is not inclusive for all Londoners. The method, Public Transport Access Level (PTAL), gives equal value to all transport stations – regardless of their physical accessibility. Since physically-limited Londoners represent over one tenth of the total population (and this number will continue to grow with an aging population!) I decided to create an amended PTAL method that reflects the physical accessibility of stations for the dissertation topic for my Master of Arts degree.
Results from my research indicate that the PTAL methodology does not accurately represent the real-life accessibility of each station. Therefore, stations should be assessed based on their accessibility, not by their mere existence. This is because all stations do not provide the same level of service for all users of the network. I found that only 10.4% of London Underground and 4.5% of London Overground stations are fully accessible. Studies show a direct relationship between quality of life and mobility. In most instances, those who need assistance to access public transport are not doing so because of their own limitations, but rather the limitations the built environment imposes on them. Fully-accessible stations provide reduced-mobility users with the same freedom and independence that the able-bodied enjoy at all stations.
My research found that there is an average of 16% reduction in job opportunities for those with limited physical mobility within London. Londoners with reduced mobility must plan additional travel time in order to take routes without steps or on a bus, which takes longer in every case.
When the New London Architecture posted a call of entry for ’40 Ideas to Shape a Better London’, it was a great opportunity to provide a snapshot into my research and raise awareness of the challenges Londoners with limited physical mobility experience while using the transport network. I never expected to be chosen as one of the entries to be published and I am very honoured!”