Olympian Pete Reed launches campaign for wheelchair user traffic light signals
The three-times Olympic gold medalist is working with Transport for London to introduce crossing signals that represent people who don’t walk
“I made my first trip back to London in the summer of 2020 and it was like seeing the city from completely different eyes. I remember being at a pedestrian crossing and seeing the little green man figure thinking ‘not everyone walks’!” said the three times Olympic Gold medalist who has used a wheelchair himself since suffering from a spinal stroke in 2019, the year after he retired from international rowing.
He has teamed up with Transport for London (TfL) to introduce wheelchair user traffic light signals across London in Earl’s Court, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Tower Hill and Whitechapel. These venues were chosen because they’re close to busy Tube stations that offer step-free access. The new signals have been installed by Yunex Traffic at no cost ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Sunday, 3 December.
TfL worked with its Independent Disability Advisory Group (IDAG) and other key disability campaigners to ensure that the signs reflect the diversity of wheelchair users. Two of the designs show someone using an independently controlled manual wheelchair and another depicts a person using an electric wheelchair.
Reed added, “I’m hoping the campaign will open people’s eyes to the value of making their businesses and hospitality accessible for wheelchair users,” adding that there’s a large disabled population in London and beyond, for whom access and ease of travel is essential to make the most of the city.