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Getting Around London with Accessible Travel

There is a wide range of accessible transport in London so everyone who needs to can get around the city easily.

Planning your Journey

A journey planner is the first place to look before making a journey on any London transport as it can give the best routes between stations, bus stops, and piers, places of interest, addresses or postcodes. You can personalise the planner to suit your particular needs for example, you can choose whether or not you can use stairs or how far you are willing to walk, if at all, and you can choose step-free access to trains and buses to make your journey as easy as possible. This journey planner is of particular use if you wish to travel on the London Underground, which can be daunting enough for the most able bodied passengers who use the network every day.

London transport provides a range of accessibility maps and guidelines that are available to print or download and these include a step free tube guide and a tube toilet map and all are available in large print, black and white or audio versions. Maps are also available at bus and train stations and within each underground tube station.

Buses have audible and visible announcements on board that inform passengers of the stop, route and bus number that they are on.

Tube stations all give audible announcements and have electronic signs on each platform showing times and destination of incoming/departing trains.

River piers have screens to confirm incoming/departing boat information and automated audio announcements are on board.

Signs

All stations, piers and bus stops are clearly signposted throughout London.

Some stations have been updated with step-free signage and some stations have ‘platform humps’ clearly marked, which is where a section of the platform is providing level access to the train.

Gaining Confidence on the Transport Network

Travel mentors are available at your request to offer advice on planning your journey using an accessible route and these mentors can accompany you on your first few journeys until you feel confident enough to make the journey alone.

Staff are always available on the tube and overground and will offer help to anyone looking in need of assistance. Staff are easily found in the train stations, coach stations piers and boats.

Station staff can accompany you to trains and buses and help them on board if required and can also arrange for another member of staff to help you off the train or bus at your destination. This service is particularly beneficial for blind passengers and people needing ramps to board trains.

Wheelchair Access and Avoiding Stairs

Bus routes in London are served with low-floor buses with dedicated wheelchair space and an access ramp. The bus driver can lower the bus to ground level to lessen the step up, if there is one, put on the wheelchair ramp and ask existing passengers to clear wheelchair space if it is needed. Bus drivers will make sure you are sat down safely before moving the bus.

Approximately a quarter of tube stations, half of overground stations, most piers and all trams have step-free access.

Maps are available to download and/or print to show how to get around stations by avoiding stairs.

Most vehicles on the London transport network system have designated wheelchair spaces or priority seating. Passengers who are in these seats and don’t need them are kindly asked to give up their seat for those that do need it if they board.

Every bus has at least one wheelchair space and most trains have two, sometimes more. Wheelchair spaces are clearly marked outside the carriage for easy access on boarding. Some boats in London can accommodate wheelchairs.

Safety

Some disabled passengers can feel vulnerable while in busy stations and sfetu is highly important on London’s Transport network. CCTV is used all over stations, piers, on buses and on trains so you can feel safe and looked after.

Passenger alarms on buses and trains can be used to alert the driver of an issue and help points are available on most platforms to contact staff quickly in an emergency.

Travelling With Sight and/or Hearing Loss

All London transport welcomes assistance dogs. If these dogs are trained to use escalators then they can use them to help get you around stations.

Tactile paving is being fitted on platforms and at the top and bottom of stairs but not all stations have it yet.

Induction loops are fitted at ticket offices, help points, platforms, taxis and buses.

Pregnant Women and Pushchairs

Baby on board badges can be carried by pregnant women to make it easier to travel as other passengers can see that you need a seat and this can prevent embarrassment or awkwardness when you ask someone if they could give up their seat for you.

If travelling with a pushchair aces will be easily made via the low-floor wheelchair friendly buses and trains. Buggies will need to be moved away from the middle aisle and if wheelchair users need the space then the buggy needs to be folded or relocated as long as it isn’t blocking any walkways.

Having these transport options available can make travelling in London sound more appealing to everyone where some disabled users may have been put off by thinking their needs may have been neglected in the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Hotels in London, such as the Shaftesbury Premier London Paddington, are located near main stations meaning you have less distance to struggle with any luggage.

With all transport modes accessible, a successful trip to London will leave you wanting to come back for more as you will be able to have stress-free travel to all sights, attractions and landmarks and of which nearly all have disabled and adapted facilities.

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