Two Bridge Loop – Step Free

The Two Bridge Loop is a circular step free route starting and ending at the Borough High Street exit of London Bridge Station.

After safely crossing Borough High Street, the route passes through Borough Market before heading West along the Thames towards the Tate Modern, taking in a great many sights on the way.

The Tate Modern features step free access throughout and has several disabled bathrooms, including one Changing Places toilet in the basement level.

The first river crossing is made using the Millennium Bridge where you can take in some amazing views of the London Skyline as you head directly towards St Paul’s Cathedral.

The route then continues to the East along the riverside path before making the second river crossing using London Bridge, visiting the Shard, and returning to the Underground station.

Download the ViewRanger app on your mobile device to follow the route!

 

 

This route was created by Environmentally Challenged for Oak Lodge School who undertook an Over The Bridges and Up The Shard Charity Challenge.

Here is the pdf version for you to download and print.

 

A quick update;

October has been a very busy month for Environmentally Challenged with new travel trainees, group lessons at Oak Bridge 19+ Provision, and an epic adventure into Central London with Oak Lodge School for their ‘Over the Bridges and Up the Shard Charity Challenge’! It’s time for a long overdue update…

One to One Travel Training

Our newest budding independent traveller is making great progress in learning how to safely complete his journey between home and college using the Single Journey program.

Stop the bus
Here’s our latest trainee practising stopping the bus independently on his way home from college.

Just a few lessons in and he can already remember both the walking route and the bus route. Well Done! The next task is learning how to cross the road safely and confidently every time.

Group Road Safety and Travel Training Lessons

Oak Bridge students are really enjoying their weekly Road Safety and Travel Training sessions with Environmentally Challenged. A wide variety of activities, resources and approaches are used in each session to ensure that every child benefits.

An Oak Bridge student building a huge Jigsaw for Road Safety Role Play
An Oak Bridge student building a huge jigsaw for use with the class in Road Safety Role Play.

Please see the Resources section of the website to access a selection of road safety activities from around the internet, along with some exclusive content from Environmentally Challenged.

Over the Bridges and Up the Shard Charity Challenge

As soon as I heard about Oak Lodge’s Charity Challenge I thought that it was an amazing idea – getting over 150 students with a range of complex needs, learning difficulties, autism and physical disabilities into the centre of London using public transportation, crossing the Thames using as many bridges as possible, going up The Shard to soak in the view, and getting back to school… all before 15.30… now that’s a challenge!

Step free access to the Thames Path... in a funky lift from Millennium Bridge
Step free access to the Thames Path – Two wheelchair users coming down from Millennium Bridge in a funky lift

Environmentally Challenged produced several step free route plans to ensure that all students, including those with reduced mobility and wheelchair users, could participate in and enjoy the whole experience. Both the ‘Step Free Route at London Bridge Station’ and ‘Oak Lodge Challenge – Step Free Route‘ are available to download freely for anyone who may find them useful.

Waving to our friends at the top of The Shard
Waving to our friends at the top of The Shard

For all the latest updates from Environmentally Challenged…

Find us on Facebook
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter

Disabled-access ticket sales rise at gigs and festivals

Written by Jenny Stevens for The Guardian

Disabled-access ticket sales at gigs and festivals have increased by 70% in the last year, according to research from a charity that works to improve access to live music in the UK.

Attitude Is Everything said that across 106 venues and festivals signed up to its charter of best practice, 114,000 disabled-access tickets were sold in 2014, compared with 67,000 in 2013.

The figures cover festivals including Glastonbury, Download and Reading and Leeds plus venues such as the O2 and the Roundhouse in London and Manchester Academy.

Our cities must undergo a revolution for older people

Written by Anne Karpf for The Guardian

Stand at the traffic lights on a major street in any city. Now, when the green man invites you, try to cross the road. Unless you have the acceleration of an Olympic sprinter, the chances are that the beeps will stop, the green man will flash and cars will rev impatiently before you’ve reached the sanctuary of the other side. Especially if you have a disability, are pushing a buggy or laden with shopping. Or are old. The Department of Health says the average walking speed demanded by pedestrian crossings is 1.2 metres a second, while the average speed of the older pedestrian is just 0.7 to 0.9 metres per second.

Continue reading Our cities must undergo a revolution for older people

Disabled people shut out of politics by lack of access at polling stations

Written by Frances Ryan for The Guardian

Clamouring for the right to vote seems slightly out of sync with modern politics, like watching a suffragette discover voter apathy, or Nigel Farage. Still, things tend to feel more important if you’re stopped from doing them. It’s 2015 and disabled people in this country haven’t yet got the franchise. Well, we have in theory, but having the legal right to cast your ballot isn’t much comfort when dire access means you can’t physically do it.

Adam Lotun, who uses a wheelchair, found himself stuck outside his polling station, a community centre in Tolworth, Surrey, when he went to vote in the 2014 local and European elections. Despite access signs pointing to a ramp, there were no safety barriers and there was a drop to the floor of the building.

“Even if I’d managed that, I was then faced with narrow internal doors, which I wouldn’t have been able to get my wheelchair through,” Lotun, 53, tells me. Unable to get inside, he couldn’t vote.

Continue reading Disabled people shut out of politics by lack of access at polling stations

Things You Only Know If You Go Clubbing In A Wheelchair

Read this interesting account of clubbing in London from the point of view of a wheelchair user… Written by Amy Oulton and first posted on The Debrief

It’s impossible to blend in on a dance floor when wheels are your primary method of transportation. Combined with a risk of tipping over backwards that directly correlates with how many drinks you’ve had, ignorant people and the general lack of accessibility, clubbing in a wheelchair is usually an eventful experience.

Continue reading Things You Only Know If You Go Clubbing In A Wheelchair

A brief history of UK Disability and Access Legislation

Shortly after World War II, the UK government introduced the National Assistance Act (NAA, 1948) which called for, amongst other things, the establishment of welfare services for people with disabilities (PwD); with the Attlee government asserting that ‘the guiding principle of welfare services should be to ensure that all handicapped persons, whatever their disability, should have the maximum opportunity of sharing in and contributing to the life of the community, so that their capacities are realised to the full, their self-confidence developed, and their social contacts strengthened’.

Though the NAA made significant improvements in the lives of PwD through the universal provision of healthcare and medical assistance, there was no mention of the built environment.

Continue reading A brief history of UK Disability and Access Legislation

Proposed new rights for people with learning disabilities – a quick guide…

Care minister Norman Lamb (see above photo) on Friday unveiled a green paper of proposals to give people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions more rights around the care they receive.

No voice unheard, no right ignored is a consultation to gain the views of disabled people, their families, those working in the sector and other interested parties on the proposals. It opens on 6 March, and closes in 12 weeks’ time, on 29 May. Here are six things you need to know about the proposals.

Continue reading Proposed new rights for people with learning disabilities – a quick guide…

Families face special educational needs help ‘postcode lottery’ – BBC News

Families of children with special educational needs are facing a postcode lottery to get extra help at schools, BBC 5 live Investigates suggests.

Figures from 125 councils in England and Wales obtained by a Freedom of Information request found a huge range in responses to assessment requests.

On average half of all requests by parents to get help are turned down.

The Local Government Association says standards are clearly set to try to meet the needs of each child.

Around one in five children in England and Wales has special educational needs (SEN) and is eligible for extra help at school.

The first step to getting help, over and above what can normally be provided in mainstream schools, is to request an assessment from the local education authority.

Continue reading Families face special educational needs help ‘postcode lottery’ – BBC News

Establishing Global Rights for People with Disabilities

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was the fastest negotiated treaty in the history of the UN; it also had the highest number of signatories on its opening day than any previous UN treaty. It took just four years from the conception of the Convention to its adoption in 2006.

The principles upon which it is based include those of non-discrimination, respect, autonomy, independence, equality of opportunity, accessibility and the removal of barriers to full and effective participation by PwD in an inclusive society.

Continue reading Establishing Global Rights for People with Disabilities