Posted in March logistics on February 18, 2011
We are working hard to make the March for the Alternative as accessible as is practical. The sheer size of the event does present real challenges, not least that large areas of central London are likely to be closed to vehicles or completely congested for most of the day, but we are doing what we can to meet these.
We are making special arrangements for people who:
- wish to join the march at the main assembly point
- wish to join the last part of the march for a shorter route to the rally
- wish to go straight to Hyde Park.
At Victoria Embankment assembly point
- There will be a special assembly point in Savoy St at the start of the March for people in wheelchairs and with disabilities who wish to join the demonstration in a group. There are accessible toilets within reasonable distance of the assembly point. This will be separately stewarded and marchers will be slotted in towards the front of the march. Savoy Street is now shown on the assembly point map. We understand of course that many people with disabilities will want to join their union or other groups in the rest of the march.
- The size of the event means that there will be major road closures throughout central London all day on March 26th starting quite early.
- Roads at the assembly point will be closed from around 9am and drop off times before then will be limited to 10 minutes. But it will be possible for taxis/dial-a-ride/minibus vehicles, though not coaches, to drop near Savoy St up to 11am (but not park). We will need to gather requests for such access (and we also need to arrange pick-up access after the event at Hyde Park). We will be issuing permits for this, and without them access may not be possible. Email email@example.com by March 14th.
Short march assembly point
- For those who wish to join the march for a shorter distance there is a further assembly point in St James St (off Piccadilly). It is now on the route map. There are accessible toilets that we have arranged within reasonable distance of this assembly point. This will allow people to join the march for the final stretch into Hyde Park. We would want people formed up there by 12:45, but if you are being dropped off in a vehicle it is likely that all nearby roads will be closed from 11am. We cannot arrange exceptions for this as access roads will be completely closed and other roads by this time will be heavily congested. We will also need to know in advance about anyone coming who needs vehicle access to the short march assembly point so that we can discuss arrangements, particularly for pick-up. Email firstname.lastname@example.org by March 14th.
- Of course people can join or leave the march at any point along the route, and as the march will be huge it is likely to be moving along Piccadilly from 1pm to probably at least 3:30pm, so if people wish to arrive later by tube they can. Piccadilly, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner are all on the final stretch of the march.
In the march
- We are expecting that there will be St Johns Ambulance ambulances at the front and rear of the march and there will be trained first aiders distributed along the route.
- It will not be possible for other vehicles to join the march.
- Stewards will be briefed on disability issues, particularly those stewarding the assembly points in Savoy St and St James St.
Coach Parking arrangements
- As there are so many coaches coming we are allocating coach drop off and parking places in advance, and people will make the rest of their journey by public transport or under their own steam. A number of tube stations close to the assembly point are accessible and we will allocate coaches to drop off points near to accessible stations if we know about special needs in advance.
- All coaches need to be registered with the TUC in advance. Coach organisers should include any access issues when they do this, or tell us later if they only become apparent later. This should be done through the contact page.
- We are not yet in a position to allocate coach drop-off and parking points as we are still trying to gather as many options as possible. There are rumours that all coaches are going to Wembley. This is not true, although we will be using the Wembley coach park as one of a number of locations. We will be using a range of different drop-off points and parking arrangements around London for coaches. One reason for this is to make it easier for access for vehicles delivering and picking up people with disabilities to get to the march – and more importantly pick-up points.
In Hyde Park
- There will be a signer on the giant screen(s).
- There will be a further St John Ambulance facility, which will be joined by the ambulance at the front of the march when it arrives.
- There will be a hard surface area accessible via hard paths that are suitable for wheelchairs.
- There will be disabled access toilets.
- For those who wish only to go to Hyde Park there will be some limited vehicle access taxi/dial-a-ride and minibus style vehicles either within Hyde Park (though space is very limited) or nearby. This will only be by pre-arrangement and with a permit issued by the TUC. Contact us in advance at email@example.com by March 14th.
Pick up points
- We will be able to arrange pick-up points for taxi/dial-a-ride and minibus style vehicles either within Hyde Park (though space is very limited) or nearby. This will only be by pre-arrangement and with a permit issued by the TUC. Again you need to contact us in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 14th.
Mobility Scooter hire
- Anyone wishing to hire a mobility scooter for the day can call Mobility Scooter UK on 0800 328 1699, and ask for “Alison”. They deliver to agreed collection points. If you specify you are coming on the TUC march, and if you are coming with others, they are prepared to offer bulk discounts. You will need to make all arrangements directly with the company as march organisers have no connection with them.