London Lantern

Putting the Spotlight on London

Facilities For The Disabled On The Tube

24/08/2000, By Ann Rayner

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 14523 votes

Hi Richard! Just started getting your Virtual-London newsletter. Really enjoying it. I have a question regarding the Underground. In '98 I was home, visiting family in Essex, and we went by train to Bath, which entailed taking the Underground from Liverpool St Station to Paddington Station.

At the time, I was sick with bronchitis, and climbing up and down so many stairs at all the train stations was horrendous and slow, especially with luggage.

Later, I wondered if there were any facilities in the Underground for disabled people. Any lifts? How do they manage on a daily basis? Or don't they?

I would appreciate any information on this. Quite a few Americans with a disabled family member have asked me about this before they think of planning a holiday in England.

Ann Rayner

(Editor: I was happy to point her in the right direction; anybody who has a problem should contact London Underground, go to:
and you can get in touch with them by e-mail with any queries.)


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Re: Facilities For The Disabled On The Tube

By Caroline Woodhouse 02/09/2001, (Rating: 2.9 from 13640 votes)

Sadly disabled people can't and therefore don't get around on the tube. Visitors to London get around and see all the sights with Cabguide. For more info

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Re: Facilities For The Disabled On The Tube

By beachmama 06/05/2002, (Rating: 2.9 from 13218 votes)

Just returned from 10 days in London. We stayed at the Millennium Gloucester by South Kensington Tube Station. I have some limits to mobility and find stairs difficult. I did find a nice lift at Knightsbridge Station although some stairs were involved. It does seem that London is not up to speed on disability issues. Which is sad as it has so much to offer. As street traffic is so impossible, going by taxi is not a good option for disabled people. I found the tourist buses were by far the best option. All the museums were reasonably accessible. The only lack I found on the streets, were an absence of any seating. So much is being done to discourage the street people but sometimes it makes it more difficult for older folk. As our flight was from Gatwick, we were able to avoid an expensive taxi fare by taking the taxi to Victoria Station and from there by train to the airport. I would advise travelers to check in advance on hotel lifts and bath fixtures. The baths in most English Hotels are positively deadly. I wonder that they don't cause dozens of deaths a year. We found people very friendly and the taxis we did use very helpful and pleasant.

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Re: Facilities For The Disabled On The Tube

By Carole Martin 01/01/2004, (Rating: 2.9 from 12628 votes)

I agree. When I come to England, I generally am coming for 3 weeks as I visit London, then go up north to visit family. And yes, I have luggage, and often getting around is not easy. I also have arthritis in my knee, so stairs can be a horror. I was lucky the last time in Paddington as a wonderful gentleman helped me up the stairs with my luggage.

The other thing people have to be aware of is that many of the B&Bs do not have elevators, and they have narrow winding staircases. When I book now, I always tell them that it MUST be a ground floor room with no stairs, or I won't book. I just can't lug luggage up stairs and they also do not have anyone to help you in many places. Maybe someday I'll win the lottery and can afford to stay in a proper hotel, but that isn't the way things are now, so I have to make do.


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