In an unprecedented step, a change in bye-laws will mean that, from October 5th, seeing eye or hearing dogs will be able to use escalators on the London Underground train system.
At the moment, guide dogs are not allowed on the moving steps. This harks back to a time when they were made from wood – authorities feared the dogs would injure themselves by catching their paws. Given the increased number of commuters who use the capital’s world famous transport system each day, the law made tube travel much harder for those with impaired vision or hearing. Tube staff have always been on hand to help those with guide dogs, but in the past it meant stopping the escalator completely whilst the dog ascended or descended. However, this has not always been possible when officials have deemed it a ‘busy time’, in order to prevent overcrowding and irate passengers.
Tatty-headed posho Boris Johnson, Lord Mayor of London, is quoted to have said that a complete review of the outmoded law would be done “as quickly as possible” in a conversation with Caroline Pidgeon, a member of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly.
Peter Hendy, the Transport Commisioner, confirmed last week that new laws put into action by the Secretary of State for Transport would abolish the need to carry assistance dogs or police dogs on an escalator. The new bye-law also formalises the ban on alcohol aboard the Tube, also introduced by the Mayor.