Accessible Transportation in London
Accessible transportation in London is provided by the fully accessible “black cabs” and the fully accessible and much cheaper busses. The vast majority of the subway/metro stations are do not have elevators, and driving your own car would be a huge headache because of the traffic, expensive parking, and possibly driving on the other side of street from your home country.
Disabled Access on London Busses
All busses are low-floor busses with ramps (except for the handful of Heritage busses on routes 9 and 15). Busses with ramps that do not work are taken out of service. Busses are free for wheelchair users and anyone under age 18.
Try to make sure the driver sees your wheelchair when he is driving up so he can position the bus correctly. Able-bodied travelers will enter through the front doors and exit at the center doors. Wheelchair users will enter and exit at the center doors where the ramp is located. The driver will allow people off the bus through the center doors, then close the doors and extend the ramp, then let you on. The wheelchair space on the busses will fit wheelchairs less than 70 cm in width and 120 cm in length. Strollers (known as buggies in the UK) can occupy this space if a wheelchair user does not need it.
When you want to get off the bus, press the wheelchair signal button located at the wheelchair spot to notify the bus driver. Overall busses provide an excellent option for wheelchair travel in London.
Good bus map (.pdf) from Transport for London (TFL) on page 7
Central London bus map (.pdf) from Transport for London (TFL) (need to use alongside map at link above)
Bus accessibility information from Transport for London (TFL)
Accessible Taxis in London
London Black Taxis are the most accessible taxis I’ve found anywhere in the world. All taxis have a ramp going into them so you can stay in your wheelchair. You can easily hail one, or you can call them at 07779 336 612
Location of taxi ranks
Taxi rank info
Taxi fare info
Subway/Metro Accessibility (also known as The Tube or The Underground)
The Metro has some stations with elevators, but there are not many in the major tourist parts of town. Most stations have stairs and/or escalators to reach them. This is not a very good option for wheelchair travel in London. I find the bus system to be a much better form of London accessible transportation.
Tube map with detailed accessibility information (.pdf)
Accessibility information about Tube travel
Accessibility information guide on Tube stations (.pdf)
Map of Tube toilets including accessible ones (.pdf)
Information on exact location of toilets (.pdf)
Less detailed Tube map with accessible stations (.pdf)
London Train Accessibility (known as Docklands Light Railway or DLR)
The DLR is useful for travel to the outskirts of town. There is a 7.5 cm gap from platform to train and less than 5 cm step up or down into train.
Light rail accessibility information
Accessible Car Rental
Driving and parking in the center of London is a huge headache. You will be better off using taxis and busses. If you are visiting a nearby city (Bath, Cambridge, etc…), this may be a good option.
Adapted vehicles in the UK for hire
Information about obtaining disabled parking placards
Website that shows location of handicapped parking spots (blue badge) in the UK
The tram system has a couple of lines and is fairly limited. The busses are generally a better option. It is free for wheelchair users. 1 pound for adults using the Oyster Card. 2 pounds for adults paying with cash.
Tram information guide (.pdf)
Additional Accessible Transportation Resources
The Oyster Card is the cheapest and most easy way to use the busses and subway. You pay beforehand and it deducts from your total every time you board a bus or train.
Oyster Card information
Website for buying the Oyster Card from the US
Fare information (.pdf)
Additional maps can be found here:
Interactive transport map
Visitor’s map of Tube and bus routes (.pdf)
Jouney Planner – useful for planning complex trips including walking/rolling, busses, trains and/or trams, can estimate travel time, can check step-free routes
Accessibility guide from Travel for London (.pdf, 146 pages)
The important pages are listed below:
– page 22 detailed accessibility info for all Tube stations
– page 113 accessibility info on trams
– page 119 accessibility info on boats on the Thames River
– page 131 accessibility info on the light rail (known as DLR)
– page 134 detailed accessibility info on DLR stations
Accessibility guide from Travel for London (.pdf, 46 pages)
London Accessible Transport Information from TourismForAll.org.uk
London Accessible Travel – main page
Pros and Cons of London Disabled Access
13 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for London England
9 Keys to Success for London Handicapped Travel
Tower of London Wheelchair Access
London Eye Wheelchair Accessibility
Stonehenge Disabled Access
Travel Insurance for Disabled Travelers
London Accessible Travel Packages
Accessible Walking and Driving Tours in London
Highlights of London Accessible Driving Tour
Classic London Wheelchair Accessible Tour
Royal London Accessible Guided Tour
London Accessible Boat Cruise on the Thames River
Stonehenge & Hampton Court Accessible Driving Tour
Stonehenge & Windsor Castle Accessible Guided Tour
Stonehenge Accessible Tour by Train
Cambridge Accessible Tour from London
Oxford Accessible Tour from London
Highlights of Greenwich Accessible Tour
London Accessibility Guide by John Sage
London Trip Planning by Sage Traveling – Travel with Ease!