The problem with the ramps is that obviously it takes longer than the 30 second “dwell time” factored into the timetable to set them up, use them and then remove them afterwards. During the peak we only have 20 seconds and when you are trying to keep trains running at roughly one every 2-3 minutes every little delay mounts up. Another problem is that during the Olympics there were plenty of extra bodies drafted in from the non-operational parts of LUL/TfL to deal with the extra workload but they’ve all gone back to their regular jobs and Stations are now back to the normal level of staffing; would we have enough people on hand to deploy the ramps when needed?
As far as making the Tube more accessible currently out of the 270 stations only 66 stations are step free down to the platform and only 33 are fully step-free on to the train. Back in 2006 LUL promised that by 2013 a third of stations would have step free access but in 2009 lift installations were cancelled at six stations after some £20m had been already spent claiming that there wasn't enough money to finish the job. In addition at SHB £39m had been spent sinking two lift shafts and moving gas and water pipes before unforeseen complications were discovered and the project was abandoned.
The likelihood of the Olympics and Paralympics leading to a legacy of greater access to the Tube seems slim, Boris seems happy to throw money at big high profile projects which he’d initially declared wouldn’t cost the taxpayer a penny like the cable car or his bloody bus, especially if there is a decent photo opportunity to be had, but not something as mundane as making the Tube more disabled-friendly.
Meanwhile over at the TUC conference some cheeky chappy has caused some outrage by selling T-shirts bearing the messages “A generation of trade unionists will dance on Thatcher's grave” and “Hey Ho The Witch is Dead" beneath a picture of Maggie’s Spitting Image puppet.
Quite frankly I’m appalled; everyone knows it’s “Ding, dong, the witch is dead”.