diamond geezer

 Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Transcript of the STEP-FREE PROJECT UPDATE MEETING
Transport for London Committee Room 7b - September 2011


Delivery Manager: The first item on our agenda is the introduction of two different tube map graphics to represent step-free access - from street to train and from street to platform.
Strategic Director: Well, I think we can all agree it's been a fantastic success. We've achieved 100% diagram rollout across all business spheres in advance of key chronological milestone targets. Best value analysis indicates that map replacement has been achieved with minimal asset loss, and I can assure the board that we're now meeting all key delivery targets against agreed accessibility criteria. Next item?
Project Sponsor: Not so fast. I know we've plastered the tube map with blue and white wheelchair symbols, but haven't we missed something?
Strategic Director: I don't think so. The launch of our new map-wide symbolic interface means that the mobility-challenged are now fully up to speed on access arrangements at all Underground stations. In particular, with the white circles, we've made it crystal clear precisely where our wheelchair-based passengers can reach the platform but not get onto the train. That's just what our customers with walking difficulties need to know. Surely there can't be anyone still confused?
Project Sponsor: Ah, but there's a tube map we haven't tweaked yet. I'm talking about the line diagrams in carriages - those long linear schematics above the windows. Shouldn't we be incorporating these into the great white-blob/blue-blob rollout too?
Strategic Director: Excellent idea. All of our existing line diagrams include only one colour of step-free circle, so we need to introduce two colours at the earliest possible opportunity. We'll stick a key in the top left corner of the map. Blue circle: step-free access from street to train. White circle: step-free access from street to platform. Let's start on the District Line.
Delivery Manager: Excellent idea. There are seventeen step-free stations on the District line, so this new initiative will be exceptionally useful.
Project Sponsor: Except all of those seventeen stations are white circles. A passenger in a wheelchair may be able to reach those seventeen platforms from the street, but they won't be able to board the train unaided because the gap up to the carriage is too high. There are no blue circle stations on the District Line.
Strategic Director: Never mind. I still want a blue circle in the key, even if there isn't a blue circle on the map. It makes us look forward-thinking.
Delivery Manager: And then we should move on to the Piccadilly line. There are fourteen step-free stations on the Piccadilly line, so this new initiative will be exceptionally useful.
Project Sponsor: Except all of those fourteen stations are white circles. The step-up from any platform to a Piccadilly line carriage is too high for wheelchair users. There are no blue circle stations on the Piccadilly Line.
Strategic Director: Never mind. I still want a blue circle in the key, even if there isn't a blue circle on the map. It makes us look accessibility-friendly.
Delivery Manager: And then we should move on to the Metropolitan line. There are eight step-free stations on the Metropolitan line, so this new initiative will be exceptionally useful.
Project Sponsor: Except all of those eight stations are white circles. Again, the vertical gap between the platform and the carriage floor is too high. There are no blue circle stations on the Metropolitan line.
Strategic Director: Never mind. I still want a blue circle in the key, even if there isn't a blue circle on the map. It makes us look like we care.
Delivery Manager: And then we should move on to the Northern line. I happen to know that the Northern line isn't all white circles, so this new initiative will be exceptionally useful.
Project Sponsor: Except there's only one blue circle on the Northern line. Just one station with step-free access from street to train, and that's London Bridge. If you're a wheelchair user and you wheel yourself on board at London Bridge, then you're stuck because you can't get off again anywhere else. One blue circle, by itself, is pointless.
Strategic Director: Never mind. I still want a blue circle in the key, even if there's only one blue circle on the entire line. It makes us look like we've made a good start.
Delivery Manager: And then we should move on to the Jubilee and Victoria lines. I happen to know that there are eleven blue circles on the former and four on the latter. Here, at least, this new initiative will be exceptionally useful.
Project Sponsor: Exceptionally useful, oh yes, exceptionally useful.
Delivery Manager: In that case, let's roll out this white/blue system to all of the diagrams on all of the remaining lines. To the Bakerloo line, with its zero blue circles.
Project Sponsor: Bloody pointless.
Strategic Director: Let's do it!
Delivery Manager: To the Waterloo & City line, with its zero blue circles.
Project Sponsor: Utterly senseless.
Strategic Director: Let's do it!
Delivery Manager: To the Hammersmith & City line, with its zero blue circles.
Project Sponsor: Totally irrelevant.
Strategic Director: Let's do it!
Delivery Manager: To the Circle line, with its zero blue circles.
Project Sponsor: Wholly unnecessary.
Strategic Director: Let's do it!
Delivery Manager: To the Central line, with its zero blue circles.
Project Sponsor: Entirely superfluous. Indeed, no self-powered wheelchair user could ever board a Central line carriage in the first place, which means providing special line diagrams for them is beyond stupid.
Strategic Director: Let's do it anyway, for consistency's sake.
Delivery Manager: Excellent. So that's a pan-network rollout for an information system which is entirely irrelevant on nine out of eleven Underground lines. We'll start replacing all the line diagrams immediately. Well done everybody. Same time next month?


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