London wheelchair travellers get Google Maps help

Media captionWhen step-free on a Tube isn’t indeed step-free

Wheelchair users travelling in London and other worldwide cities on open ride can now get accessibility information from Google Maps.

Users will be means to filter for “wheelchair accessible” recommendation when formulation journeys in a capital.

However incapacity groups warned a information needs to be present and accurate in sequence to be helpful.

The use is primarily permitted on desktop and will be rolling out opposite iPhone and Android devices.

It has also been launched in New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney with skeleton to hurl it out opposite other locations.

The London information covers a underground, bus, DLR and tram networks and will be combined for a overground during a after date.

‘Not wholly accurate’

Alan Benson, chair of incapacity entrance organisation Transport for All said: “Getting around a London network on a singular basement takes a lot of believe and confidence, something that we have built adult over many years.

“For someone that does not have that believe it can be utterly daunting. However carrying accessibility information in an app a same as everybody else is great.

“The problem is however that a information is not wholly accurate.”

Mr Benson warned for example, that a rises during Brixton subterraneous hire are going to be out of movement until Sep and this information is not enclosed in a Google Maps feature.

He said: “The wrong information is worse than no information. If we don’t have any information we won’t take a journey. The wrong information will destroy people’s confidence.”

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Google

The new underline was announced by Google Maps product manager, Rio Akasaka in a blog post.

He said: “Information about that stations and routes are wheelchair permitted isn’t always straightforwardly permitted or easy to find.

“To make open movement work for everyone, currently we’re introducing ‘wheelchair accessible’ routes in movement navigation to make removing around easier for those with mobility needs.”

Google pronounced that before rising a underline it had tested it with several wheelchair users and accessibility groups.

The track information is also supplemented by a believe of an area of internal people, who can supplement accessibility information to Google Maps directly.

‘Most permitted walking route’

Ellis Palmer, a BBC contributor and wheelchair user, welcomed a news from Google and highlighted a hurdles that he and others with accessibility needs face.

He said: “Anything that creates it easier to get around London as a wheelchair user is always welcome.

“The large problem in removing around London is that usually 73 stations are permitted for wheelchair users in any approach figure or form.

“Only 50 can be accessed exclusively and autonomously by wheelchair users though any need for assistance by hire staff.

“Buses, however, are 100% accessible, though usually have one space for a wheelchair/scooter user – origination it formidable if one wants to ride with others with singular mobility.”

Mr Palmer added: “Aside from looking during usually open ride options, it would be good if a Google Maps focus told a user a many permitted walking route: perplexing to get around city can be intensely formidable when we find your tour interrupted by pavements that are not level.

“Google’s origination can be a pull brazen for entrance in a capital, though usually if we recognize there’s still a prolonged approach to go before infirm people are means to get around a city a same as their robust counterparts.”

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