Thursday, December 13
People are always telling me how accessible London is so I suppose I was expecting really great things, so I was a bit surprised to find it wasn't really as good as I'd heard. Now we were spending a few days around Golders Green and I can guess right now that you will be thinking... if only you'd gone to......, maybe, but Id have thought Golders Green would have been up there in the heights of accessibility. Last time I was here I was walking so I suppose I was seeing it in a very different light. The whole area has paving slabs, most of which are poorly maintained. I'm sure a lot of older people find this awkward, its certainly not easy with wheels as I found myself 'stuttering' along rather than roiling gracefully. Dropped kerbs are an enigma. You get all the way along to the end of the street only to find you there is no dropped kerb so I ended up going up and down streets looking for a place to cross over. While I'm OK at bouncing down kerbs I'm not great at getting up them. Finally they must have the highest dropped kerbs in the country. Crossing the street required major acrobatics as I bounced up and down these kerbs all the time praying that the bus driver would be patient for another 30 seconds!
Shops are not universally accessible either. For instance Starbucks on Golders Green High street has a step and very difficult doors to negotiate. While the Costa next door is totally accessible. I suppose that proves its all about cost. Anyway I'm not moaning I'm just saying I'm a bit surprised as I thought it would be better. Granted I didnt try the buses, so next time I will take bus into town, but perhaps the streets of London are not quite paved with gold after all.