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London introduces inclusive crossing signals

the new crossing signal of a person in a wheelchair

Pedestrians in London will be looking out for a new signal before crossing the road in a bid to raise awareness around disability.

A person in a wheelchair has replaced the green man at five crossings around the capital next to busy Tube stations.

The initiative is inspired by three-time Olympic champion rower Captain Pete Reed, who experienced a stroke in 2019 which left him paralysed from the chest down.

As well as the new signal Transport For London [TfL] are testing a new system which allows people with physical disabilities to activate crossing controls through an app.

Reed said: “As an Olympic athlete and naval officer, I spent my early adult life at the peak of human fitness.

“In 2019, in one day everything changed for me. My life now as a full-time wheelchair user has a whole range of new demands, which can be dramatically helped by better access and transport for wheelchair users, just as there should also be for the wider disabled community.

“I’m so delighted that the Mayor of London (Sadiq Khan) and TfL listened with open ears when I proposed these new wheelchair user traffic signals. The disabled community can and do offer so much value to all parts of society.

“I hope this visibility in mainstream life makes more people feel comfortable about getting out in the city and raising their voices where they see opportunity for positive change and collaboration.”

Andy Lord, London’s transport commissioner, said: “It is vitally important that we do more to increase awareness of disabled Londoners across our city alongside continuing to improve services for people who have accessibility needs.”

[ The new signals are in place around areas of Earl’s Court, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Tower Hill and Whitechapel stations. ]

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