Oct 242013
 

The Action for Rail campaign joined forces with transport, disabled and older people’s campaign groups to condemn plans by London Mayor Boris Johnson to shed hundreds of staff across London’s transport.

Campaigners were protesting as they believe passengers could be faced with significantly fewer staff to assist them as a result of a cocktail of cuts being proposed across London transport services. They include plans to:

 

•             Close ticket offices at stations across London Underground

•             Cut other tube staff and,

•             Remove guards from trains on London Overground.

 

Campaigners also fear the cuts could have an impact on staff employed in maintenance work across the network.

 London Underground is due to release further details of the proposed cuts next month. In his Spending Review earlier this year, the Chancellor announced a 12.5 per cent cut to the Transport for London (TfL) budget, to take effect from June 2015. Action for Rail fears that this cut could result in further job losses.

Polling recently commissioned by the RMT showed that more than two-thirds (71 per cent) of passengers oppose ticket office closures in London. A survey of passengers jointly commissioned by Action for Rail, Transport for All, Disabled Passengers Against Cuts (DPAC) and the National Pensioners Convention shows that:

•             Four in five (81 per cent) of respondents said the loss of staff at stations would make travel difficult

•             More than two-thirds (71 per cent) said they require assistance from staff at stations and on trains

•             More than half (54 per cent) said they needed help buying tickets

•             Nearly half (45 per cent) needed help with accessing ticket gates and platforms; and,

•             More than a third (34 per cent) said it would deter them making some journeys or make train travel difficult.

 

Campaigners also highlighted that under the Mayoralty of Boris Johnson fares have risen three times faster than average earnings, contributing to the living standards crisis in the capital.

Director of disabled and older people’s passenger group Transport for All Faryal Velmi said: “Underground staff play a key role in assisting disabled and older people to use the London Underground including accessing the platform and the train, particularly at stations with complicated access routes, or manual boarding ramps.

 “We are very concerned that if these staff cuts go ahead then access to the entire London Underground network will be restricted for disabled and older passengers”.

transport pic2

dpac transport

– Action for Rail is the joint campaign of the TUC, ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite, which campaigns against cuts to jobs and services and for a national integrated railway under public ownership that puts passengers and public first.

– The RMT survey is available at www.rmt.org.uk/news/new-survey-shows-londoners-want-ticket-offices-to-stay-open/

– Full details of the survey by Action for Rail, Transport for All, DPAC and the National Pensioners Convention are available at www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/tucfiles/TUC_Future_of_Railway_Staffing_disabled_older_passengers.pdf

– Information about fare increases rising faster than average earnings is available at www.rmt.org.uk/news/rmt-exposes-full-extent-of-london-tube-fares-rip-off/

 

Jul 162013
 

DPAC Logo 3 amendment 1 (Small)Our rights are being stripped away day by day by the neo-liberal policies being imposed on us all by the Condems leaving us without any hope for our futures or our children’s futures.

 

DPAC say this is not fair, not acceptable and we must fight back against the continuing attacks. We will be having a week of actions nationally and virtually from August 29th and culminating on September 4th with  mass events and actions in London.

 

Thursday 29th August – launch on anniversary of coffin delivery to Atos, make Crossrail fully accessible protest, plus more….

 

Friday 30th August – local protests –go to local MPs, Atos offices, schools and colleges that are creating barriers to inclusion..plus more…

 

Saturday 31st August – disability, art and protest exhibition and gig

 

Sunday 1st September –
The Social Model In The 21st Century – Why Is It Still relevant?

 

Monday 2nd September – Media direct actions, picking up the pace as we come to the end of the week of action, despite everything we do it is getting more and more difficult to get media space to present the facts whereas there is plenty of space given to misrepresentation of stats and government lies

 

Tuesday 3rd September – ‘I Dare’ day – to reinforce that we want Rights not Charity and a society where we are able to operate on our own terms as disabled people.

Approximate time 1pm -2.30pm

 

Wednesday 4th September – Grand Finale events in London and public launch of the Manifesto ‘Reclaiming our Futures’

noon- 4pm followed by lobby of parliament 5-6pm

 

We want to get disabled people from around the UK out resisting, based on their experiences, creating disabled people’s space, raising awareness of what we are all about. But there is plenty of social media stuff too- everyone can be an ‘extremist’!

 

The Anti Atos message last year was very clear and very successful. This year we want the messaging to be broader and to be about what we want and expect from any future government including all aspects of inclusion.

 

At the Rethinking Disability Policy event last September a network of Disabled People’s Organisations agreed to develop a manifesto of demands. The manifesto is nearly ready for consultation and sign up. Let us know if you’d like a copy.

 

The Reclaiming Our Futures week will launch the manifesto and say what we want to protect our futures.

 

Last year’s ATOS GAMES protests had at least 33 separate local protests in different locations in England, Scotland and Wales over the course of the week.

 

While the Atos Games focused on demonstrating and closing things down, this year’s week of action will retain that anger and include direct action but it will also be a celebration of disability pride.

 

DPAC has some funding for the week of action and we have worked out what we have the capacity to do. We are asking other groups to think about what they can put on and contribute to the week. This needs all of us!

 

We are asking people around the UK to do things as well – debates, forums, art exhibitions, protests, to link in with this. Let us know what you’re planning and we’ll publicise it!

 

If you need help with funding to get to London (4th Sept) email us at mail@dpac.uk.net with details. DPAC members will get first priority but we’re hoping to be able to contribute to all that want to come along. If you are unable to come but would like your picture carried send us a photo or message. Please get in touch with any other queries as well and we’ll try to help.

more to come…….

Jul 162013
 

 Crossrail, opening fully in 2019, is new rail line linking Maidenhead in the West to Shenfield in the East, spanning London. Costing £14.5bn of public money this new rail line will not however be fully accessible to disabled and older people.

Seven of the stations, including four London stations, will not be stepfree to platform. Hanwell in Ealing, Seven Kings in Redbridge, Maryland and Manor Park in Newham, have no lifts planned. A further three outside London (Taplow, Iver and Langley) will be out of bounds to wheelchair users and other disabled people.

But making Crossrail stepfree would cost less than 0.2% of the £14.5 billion Crossrail budget.

We’re campaigning for a Crossrail which everyone can use with freedom and independence.

http://www.transportforall.org.uk/news/action-for-an-accessible-crossrail-29th-august

 

Day of Action on the 29th August!

 

11.30 – 1pm

 

Come to Crossrail’s offices at Canary Wharf and join us to call for a Crossrail we can all use.

 

One year on from the Paralympics, we’ll be holding our very own Legacy Torch Relay along the route of the Crossrail line.

 

Our Torchbearers will be travelling by public transport from West and East, and converging around 11.30am at Canary Wharf. There, we’ll ask Crossrail representatives to work with us for an accessible Crossrail.

 

Come to this unique event and:

  • Cheer our Crossrail torchbearers as they arrive from Hanwell and Seven Kings, flying the flame for an inclusive railway
  • Hear from disabled and older activists who’ve been working to make their local station stepfree
  • Learn more about what Crossrail means for you and the campaign to make Crossrail fully stepfree
  • Meet campaigners and speakers from national and local groups
  • Get information about how you can take action to help ensure Crossrail is a transport legacy we can all use and London can be proud of.
  •  

Following the action, there will be a Pan London Mobility forum on Crossrail at City Hall. You must register in advance if you’d like to attend.

 

Support EDM 336!

 

Get your local MP to support EDM 336 which calls for a fully accessible Crossrail.

 

Details here: http://www.transportforall.org.uk/news/crossrail-access-denied

 

Apr 092013
 

action for rail

Meeting for MPs and campaigners
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF RAILWAY STAFFING MEAN FOR DISABLED AND OLDER PASSENGERS?
24 April, 1.30pm–3.30pm, Grimond Room, Portcullis House
With government and shadow transport representatives
The government and rail industry’s plans to find savings of up to £3.5bn will place up to 20,000 jobs at risk and entail the de-staffing of a large proportion of our trains and stations. Disabled passengers may suffer as a result.
Speakers from Transport for All, the National Pensioners Convention, Disabled People Against Cuts, rail unions and others will be invited to discuss their experiences of rail travel and the role that staff play in meeting their needs and to raise their concerns with MPs and government representatives.
RSVP actionforrail@tuc.org.uk

Download the flyer here: Action for Rail – Disabled and Older Passengers – 24 April 2012-1

 

Please also be aware of:

 Keep Staff on our Railways

Kings Cross Station Protest

4.30pm – 6.30pm

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Mar 272013
 

Action for Rail – date for your diary and call out for your stories

On Wednesday 24th April the TUC, Disabled People Against Cuts and Transport for All will be holding a lobby of Parliament from 1.30 – 3.30pm followed by a speak out action at King’s Cross station from 4pm to highlight the impact of railway staff cuts on disabled people. The McNulty Review could lead to over 20,000 job losses including rail guards and staff in ticket offices and on station platforms. The lobby and action will give disabled people the chance to speak out about the importance of customer assistance and rail staff for making rail travel accessible, bringing us together with rail staff who want to be able to give good quality assistance but who are held back by cutbacks and restrictions.

We also need your stories and examples of how staff cutbacks will affect you. Please email mail@dpac.uk.net.

If you will be attending the lobby and have access needs please let us know at mail@dpac.uk.net

 

Jul 222012
 

Right to Ride, disabled activists block traffic outside Westminster

DPAC is pleased that London’s 28,000 bus drivers who threatened strike action on 5 and 24 July have won their right to receive an Olympic bonus which other transport workers have been offered in recognition of the extra strain the Games will put on their working conditions. The deal follows the first capital-wide bus strike in decades and six days of negotiations. It has been signed by all 20 bus operators amid fears the network could be brought to a standstill, heaping embarrassment on the London as it staged the Games.

DPAC calls for a fully accessible public transport system that provides disabled passengers with the same opportunities to travel as anyone else. We recognise that an important part of a fully functioning system entails respect and fair terms and conditions for transport staff in order to enable them to do their jobs fairly. DPAC supports the bus drivers in any action they feel they need to take in order to get their voices heard.

Last month DPAC and Transport for All staged a successful direct action with activists blocking the path of an 87 bus outside Westminster for more than two hours. The action which was featured on a Channel Four news debate drew attention to the barriers that disabled people face in accessing London buses ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games when campaigners fear that poor disability access will make London a laughing stock. http://www.dpac.uk.net/2012/06/right-to-ride-report/

In speaking out against the daily discrimination and frustration disabled people experience trying to access bus transport DPAC does not blame the bus drivers themselves. Drivers are held back from delivering a fair service to disabled passengers by cutbacks which have seen conductors removed from buses whilst drivers are not allowed to leave their cabs for safety reason, by strict regulation of timetables that do not give drivers adequate time to meet the needs of disabled people and by a lack of investment in fully user led disability equality training that could be delivered around drivers’ shift patterns.

DPAC encourages our members to show solidarity to bus drivers in any further actions.

 

Apr 022012
 

Boris claimed he was too busy to turn up at a London mayoral ‘hustlings’ organised by user-led organisations Inclusion London and Transport for all (TfA) to listen to disabled people.

However, Boris can find the time to go to another ‘hustlings’ event organised by the big disability charities including RNIB, Leonard Cheshire Disability and MENCAP. The charities have not invited user-led disabled peoples’ organisations to attend. The big charities continue to speak FOR disabled people with no mandate to do so and continue to exclude disabled people from talks with local and national governments as always.

DPAC asks: How much longer will user-led organisations and disabled people continue to be silenced by the multi-million pound charities?  How much longer will people support the big disability charities without realising that they are acting in their own interests? Already Disability Works UK (a consortium of charities  claiming a turn over value of £654.4 million) run workfare for disabled people, risking sanctions and loss of benefit for the very people the charities claim to ‘help’.  They claim they dont do sanctions but this is because they pass on the names of people to DWP so that they can do them.

Boris may be too busy to notice or simply not care- disabled people of London should care and make sure that his arrogance towards disabled peoples’ issues and the real problems we face translates into a ‘no vote’ for Boris in May.

Click on link to read the story of the snub by John Pring:

http://www.disabledgo.com/blog/2012/03/anger-over-boris-snub-for-user-led-question-time/

 

Oct 302011
 

First report from Louise Whittle @HarpyMarx, many thanks for letting us repost.

Mike Higgins, Linda Burnip, Debbie Jolly, John McArdle (morning speakers)

Mike Higgins, Linda Burnip, Debbie Jolly, John McArdle (morning speakers)

I attended the DPAC first conference yesterday. Here are some pictures and video to give a flavour of the day. Workshops were held to discuss the priorities for DPAC work and this will be written up put on the website. My favourite demand was, “Get rid of capitalism” as it makes people ill. Too true!

Thomas Butler

There were speakers, I just about caught the end of Mike Higgins talk (I was late to conference). John McArdle’s (Black Triangle) talk I videoed. I enjoyed Mik Scarlet’s talk about the challenges ahead, lots of humour added and especially his anecdote about a certain presenter of a certain dance show parking his Rolls Royce in a disabled only space and claiming he had every right to park there as he’s a “star”…….

John McArdle (Black Triangle)

John McArdle (Black Triangle)

Finally, John McDonnell MP was the final speaker (I videoed his talk too). Overall, the day was about, for me, hearing about the experiences of disabled people being constantly demonised and vilified by this government and previously, NL. Individuals spoke about their terrible experiences at the hands of Atos and the dreaded assessments. As one speaker correctly said, “If you have a pulse you are fit for work as far as Atos is concerned”.

Patrick Lynch (in white teeshirt) and Andy Greene (seated next to him)

Patrick Lynch (in white teeshirt) and Andy Greene (seated next to him)

There were discussion about demands and the way forward. One area is dispelling the lies and myths circulated by the ConDems and Ed Miliband aided and abetted by a media who is only too happy print to reiterate the rubbish. Example, Panorama has a programme coming up about benefit scoungers.

delegates

delegates

John McDonnell is correct when he said we need to make alliances and work together in challenging and fighting against the lies about disabled people but also uniting with others makes up stronger.

Lianna Etkind of Transport for All

Lianna Etkind of Transport for All

Finally, I would like to say thanks and solidarity to committed activist Eleanor Lisney, who I first saw at a Women Against the Cuts at an International Women’s Day event, and met her in cyberspace via Twitter when I came across DPAC. She is standing down from DPAC National Steering Committee.

Debbie Jolly, Eleanor Lisney and Linda Burnip

Debbie Jolly, Eleanor Lisney and Linda Burnip

Mik Scarlett

Mik Scarlett: speaker

John McDonell MP
Lani Parker, Svetlana Kotova with John McDonnell

Lani Parker, Svetlana Kotova with John McDonnell