A student campaign to obtain the university’s agreement to include the north of campus on bus routes has begun to gain momentum this term.
The initiative is to establish a stop in close proximity to County College, giving students travelling to campus’s northern-most college a less inconvenient journey. At present the buses stop at the underpass in the middle of the main campus and at two points in the South West campus.
There are two reasons why it is felt by students that a stop needs to be installed at the north end of campus. Aside from County being one of the biggest undergraduate colleges and a closer stop to town, making many students’ trips into Lancaster vastly more convenient, it would make an even more sizable difference to students with disabilities.
The underpass stop, used by all colleges not on the South West campus, is particularly inaccessible to wheelchair users, who have to deviate from the staircases on the main route and take an unwelcome and long-winded detour. The current situation was described by Torri Crapper, LUSU Vice President (Equality, Welfare and Diversity), as “ridiculous”.
The campaign has so far taken the form of a petition, which is gaining more and more signatures as awareness of the awkward reality faced by disabled students grows. Begun by last year’s SWD officer on County JCR, Emily Richards, the idea is being continued by her successor Genevieve Agnew and has gained wider attention with Crapper’s involvement. Already having discussed the campaign with the Students With Disabilities Council, Crapper has stated that in the near future the petition will be presented to the University at a meeting which both she and LUSU President Michael Payne will attend to support the student initiative.