Monday, 6 February 2012

Transport and London for olly murs

So this past weekend ive been on one of my adventures which always cheers me up but i felt i should instead of concentrait on the amazing time i have had seeing Olly Murs in concert and seeing my lovely friend .. look at transport in a wheelchair.

So Saturday evening it was 50/50 if i'd be going after the UK had a down pour of snow and we had around 7 cms here couldnt have come at a worse time, not only snowed in but also unsure if i'd get to go!

Sunday morning i was very lucky as my farther managed to get out of his village and drive me to the train station. My first mode of transport, now going in my own car is fine, as its at a good level so easy for me to transfer in and out of which was great an ideal in the snowy conditions also a nice warm car makes me happy! Wheelchair fits perfectly in the back!

Now on to Birmingham New street i went. Now this is were my farther and brother leave me! I got my tickets from the fast machine. You see when you book your tickets you do that as normal but then have to ring the assistance number for in my case virgin trains. So after arriving at new street and getting my tickets said bye to my dad and brother i was on my own, in the hands of virgin and network rail! They were fantastic i sat in the mobility assistance office for a while had a chat with some of the guys working there which was nice, had a giggle to myself about! Then a nice gentleman from Network rail got behind the wheelchair and took me in a lift with a fellow wheelchair user (although electric) and took me down to the platform to await my train. He put the ramps down and helped me to my place on the train and off he went. It was an ok journey saw a lot of snow and got a little bored of the conversation next to me! Upon arriving at London Euston i waited on the train until the mobility assistance guy assisted me off my train and left me as he went to get another wheelchair user. So my friend and her dad came on to the platform and got me! But in all fairness well done Network rail!

Then another car journey which as for the reasons above i enjoy, plus a good chat with my friend and her dad.

We arrived at the hotel it was abit icey and snowy but nothing i couldnt handle with a little help and a good transfer! Lucky the pavements were good by the hotel not sure if thats due to the hotel or the local council but who ever it was good effort!

I then had a nap for a while then as i was tired from my trip and wanted to stay awake for the concert we were off to see. I then managed to get myself ready for the trip adrenalin kicking, i'd pay for this later! My friend and parents arrived back to collect me in the car and off we went to the o2 arena! I found out some facts a long the way to, i just love facts!

Then we had a bit of a mission of a walk into the arena better salting was needed! But luckily it wasn't to bad! We were in a massive que to get in then one of the o2 people fast tracked awesome, thanks to that man! We went in the VIP bit only to the lift though! We went up to the 4th level and then found our seats which were good when you think we got them last minute literally 2 weeks ago! The staff were very helpful but i do love my wembley concerts (sorry O2!!!)

The concert its self was amazing really enjoyed it, olly certainly has a way with the ladies, flirt, love it! Also Rizzle Kicks came on stage for "heart skips a beat" the last song of the evening which was epic! Only thing was a lot of people were standing up in front of me which meant i couldn't see everything but i enjoyed the atmospher and the lovely olly singing!

We left the o2 arena and then had to keep right to head into North Grenwich tube station now keep in mind i have never used the tube before hand as a wheelchair user i was a little aprehensive. In all honesty i thought it was very good! We qued like everyone else until we got near to the front then a london transport assistant saw us and took us through and skipped the huge que thank you! Down a lift which was good, got the ticket for my travel to stratford, then through the wheelchair space! Down another lift and this made us laugh it was like a strict teacher talking to you scary! Then on to the tube its self made sure my breaks were on! The tube was a good experience over all. The only wheelchair friendly tube line Jubliee well done TFL great experience, pat on the back!

Once at stratford we had to use more lifts to get to ground level! Then we walked over towards the buses. Now we waited and waited but the bus we wanted didnt come so we got a 25 instead the bus was clean and fine. Now let me tell you about London Buses now i dont use buses at home because they are a pain in the rear end with about 1 in 3 with ramps makes it a nusence to say the least. But not in london every bus has a ramp and special wheelchair area and they are always good. Mind you after 3 buses and a walk i was shattered well i'm a night owl so couldnt get myself to sleep til gone 2am!

We woke up this morning i eventually got moving i was very stiff and my hands certainly did not want to open i was in a lot of pain but i battled through. Now we were to get more buses the first bus that came along did not stop for us as could not get close enough to the curb for the ramp. Then a second bus came and did manage it however it was slightly funny as we went on the bus backwards the ramp wasnt down properly for some reason and the wheelchair ended up going backwards yet i was on my back and my friend was on the floor as well! We was rescued by an italian (have i mentioned the man on the bus giving me the eye oo he was nice!) we were lucky enough to both be fine and continue with our journey although my laughing did not help! We then did some walking to my friends house as she needed to drop her bag off and i've got to say she did VERY good with the pushing of the wheelchair in the snow and ice, well done mate! Although i will have a little moan and wonder why hackney council had not salted the pavements? I mean it could be dangerous to people! Then we got another short bus jouney! Then the long bus journey now im not one for public transport i get bored and fustrated espically with buses. We eventually got to Euston! Had a bite to eat well i had some garlic bread and a few chips but it was nice anyway!

In summary london buses are free for wheelchair users and all as far as i am aware have a ramp and you have your own button to press so the driver knows to put the ramp down for you to leave the bus, overall i like london buses!

Before i knew it, it was time to say goodbye to my friend and start my journey back home, now as normal the people in the mobility area were very nice and kind! Oh i forgot to mention booking a taxi to collect me from Birmingham to get back home!

Now as i was taken down to my train at euston the guy was told by the train manager that the standard class disabled toilets were not working and i'd have to sit in first class, thank you very much! So i had first class travel all the way home! Ive got to admit it was really nice lol! We got to birmingham new street and they couldnt find me as i was registered in standard so they went but were called back to collect me! They did apoligise and then we took the 2 lifts up the concourse and transfered into awaiting taxi that brough me home and i was so happy to see my dog again! Feeling really stiff and tired tonight but had an amazing time and i am looking forward to my next adventure Disney on Ice in march!

Overall had an amazing time really was fantastic and id like to say a huge well done to the public transport system for this weekend :D

See you in march London

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