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Accessible transport options

Last Updated 04/09/2019

There are any accessible transport options for or children and young people that do not meet the criteria for travel assistance but still require assistance with their home to school travel. Please see below for more information on the accessible transport options, schemes and journey planning tools available.



TFL Journey Planner

Journey planner is an online tool to help you plan your journey. It gives you a wide range of travel options to choose from. This includes step-free and journeys with and without stairs and escalators. It will help you find the best routes between stations, stops, addresses or postcodes.

Visit tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey or call TFL on 0343 222 1234 to find the most convenient route for you. You can also check planned works, closures or disruptions on lifts, escalators or stations by visiting tfl.gov.uk/station-closures

TFL Buses

All London buses (except for Heritage routes 9 and 15) are low-floor buses, which means their suspension can be lowered to pavement level to create level access for wheelchair users, people with buggies and pushchairs, people with assistance dogs, and people with mobility impairments. The new routemaster bus is also fully accessible.

All London buses are fitted with wheelchair ramps and have a designated space for one wheelchair on board.

For wheelchair users you can expect the bus driver to:

  • Pull in close to the kerb to reduce the gap
  • Lower the bus to reduce the step up
  • Deploy the wheelchair ramp if needed
  • Require customers to make space for wheelchair users, unless it is unreasonable for them to do so

All London buses have priority seats, situated at the front of the bus, which are intended for the use of people with disabilities, older people, pregnant women, and those carrying young children.

TFL publish lots of information to help you on your journey, including:

  • Maps and timetables
  • Real time service announcements and live arrival countdown timers

You can also find out when your next bus is coming by searching online for ‘TfL live bus arrivals’ or texting 87287 with the black five-digit number at the bus stop on the sign above the timetable or ask @TfLTravelBot on Facebook Messenger.

TFL London Underground

Currently not all Tube stations have step-free access, but London Underground has 66 stations which are step-free from street to platform. You will see these indicated by a blue wheelchair on a white background on the Tube map.

Some stations are also step-free from street to train - these are shown by a white wheelchair on a blue background on Tube maps.

You can download a free Tube Guide Map to help you find stations with step-free access.

You can download accessible tube maps, including an audio, black and white and large print tube guide here: https://tfl.gov.uk/forms/12387.aspx.

You can always ask a member of staff to help you get to the platform. All staff have regular training on how to assist passengers with mobility problems, including those with visual impairments, and will help as far as it is safe to do so.

All Tube trains have priority seats, situated near the doors, which are intended for the use of people with disabilities, older people, pregnant women, and those carrying young children.

All car parks at Transport for London stations have free spaces for Blue Badge Holders and other parking badge holders. More information on where you can park with a Blue Badge can be found here: https://www.peoplefirstinfo.org.uk/going-out-staying-in/travel-and-transport/parking-and-blue-badges/

If you need help buying a ticket, you can get help from a member of Transport for London staff. Each station has at least one ticket machine with lower buttons and coin and card slots for wheelchair users.

All TfL staff are trained to help customers who require extra assistance. You don’t need to book in advance, as we operate a turn-up-and-go service. Simply ask any member of staff for the help you need.

You can expect that TFL staff will:

  • Help you to get to the platform
  • Help you board the train
  • Arrange for you to be met at interchange stations and at the end of your journey
  • Deploy a ramp where available
  • Let you know if there are delays on the network and suggest alternative routes

 

Furthemore, most TFL London underground stations have been adapted to include:

  • Hearing aid induction loops at most stations (look out for the T-loop symbol)
  • Tactile paving (available at most platforms)
  • Staff at most stations
  • Interchange options including buses and taxis from some stations
  • Clear wayfinding signs at stations

Trains

Train operating companies can usually arrange for staff to meet you at your departure station, accompany you to the train and see you safely on board. Similar arrangements can be made at your destination station and other stations if you need to change trains. Ramps can be provided to help people using wheelchairs to get on and off trains easily.

You will need to contact the train company that operates the stations you are travelling from and to.

The National Rail Website provides detailed information about rail services and train companies in London, covering routes, timetables, fares and accessibility information for stations and trains.

Most train companies, including National Rail offer a range of discounts under varying criteria. For more information on the discounts offered by National Rail visit this page of their website.

'Please Offer Me a Seat' Badge

If you struggle to stand on public transport and find it difficult to get a seat, you can apply for a free ‘Please Offer Me a Seat’ badge, to make it easier to let other passengers know that you need a seat.

These are now available through the TFL website, or by calling 0343 222 1234.

Freedom Pass

The Freedom Pass allows older and disabled people living in London to travel free on the Tube, TfL Rail, DLR, London Overground, Tram, bus and some National Rail services in London. Visit londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/ freedom-pass to apply online, download the form to apply by post, or call 0300 330 1433.

Disabled Persons Railcard

If you have a Disabled Persons Railcard you can get one-third off pay as you go fares in London and rail fares across Britain. Visit disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk for more details, ask at a mainline National Rail station or call 0345 605 0525.

Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs can travel on all TFL services, including taxis and private hire vehicles, at no extra charge. Some dogs are trained to use escalators but if your dog is not, please speak to a member of TFL staff for help.

Blue Badges

The scheme is principally designed to allow people, over two years of age, with severe walking difficulties to park close to places they wish to visit. It is essential that the badges are only issued to people who would otherwise be incapable of visiting shops, public buildings or other places.

To see more information regarding the Blue Badge scheme to find out how to apply please click here.

Taxicard

Taxicard offers subsidised travel in licensed taxis and private hire vehicles to London residents with serious mobility impairments or who are severely sight impaired. It enables members who have difficulty in using buses, trains and tubes to get out and about.

The scheme provides trips for social purposes, for example going shopping, visiting friends and family, and going out to events. Your Taxicard can be used 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year – subject to the availability of vehicles.

Applications for the Taxicard Scheme can be submitted through the local authority. Please download the application form and send it through to the Accessible Transport Team by emailing accessible.transport@rbkc.gov.uk.

Travel Support Card

Travel Support Cards can help you to communicate with staff. You can write down what assistance or information you need and show this to staff to help you when you’re travelling on any part of the TfL network and at Victoria Coach Station.

Anyone who finds travelling difficult can have the Travel Support Card. Visit tfl.gov.uk/travel-support or call 0343 222 1234 to get yours.

Mobility Aid Recognition Scheme

If you use a mobility aid on the bus, you can apply for a Mobility Aid Recognition card. This lets bus drivers know your aid has been approved and to let the ramp down for you. When you apply for a card, a travel mentor will accompany you on a journey to check the size of your mobility aid. They will also provide useful tips for how to get safely on and off the bus and plan your journeys. You can apply for the card if you use a mobility scooter, walking aid or wheelchair buggy.

Please note not all mobility aids are suitable for travel on public transport. Email TFL at travelmentor@tfl.gov.uk or call on 020 3054 4361 (between 9:00-16:00, Monday to Friday) to book an appointment.

Community Transport

This is an independent, community based door-to-door transport service for those who are unable to use public transport. It offers transport for groups as well as individuals. Visit tfl.gov.uk/door-to-door to find out how it works in your local area

Dial-a-Ride

Dial-a-Ride is TfL’s free door-to-door transport service for those who cannot always use the bus, train or Tube. It is mostly suitable for getting around locally to do your shopping, attend events and visiting family or friends. You will share your journey with other Dial-a-ride users. Membership is available to older London residents and those with long term or permanent disabilities. You can print a membership application form at tfl.gov.uk/dialaride, request one to be sent to you by emailing dar@tfl.gov.uk or calling 0343 222 1234.

Travel Mentoring

If you have a mobility requirement or a disability and would like to try out the accessible transport options but are unsure how to do it, TfL’s free Travel Mentoring service can give you guidance and support to help you get around London. They offer telephone advice to help plan an accessible route and can provide a mentor to accompany you for your first few practice journeys to help you learn how to travel the network, gaining confidence to become an independent traveller.

The travel mentors can help anyone who lives or travels in London. They cover all journeys taken on TfL transport including the bus, Tube, TfL Rail, DLR, London Overground, Tram, Thames Clipper River boats and Emirates Air Line.

Email travelmentor@tfl.gov.uk, or call 020 3054 4361* between 9:00-16:00 Monday to Friday to book an appointment. If your journey is only on the DLR you may prefer to use the DLR Travel Ambassadors who offer advice on the network and can accompany you on a journey too. Email ambassadors@keolisameydlr.co.uk to book an appointment.

More information

You can find more information, including a series of videos, about accessible transport and getting around in London on TFL’s accessibility information webpage here: https://tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/

They have also produced a leaflet called Come on board - An introduction to accessible transport in London.

Transport for all is a campaigning group for disabled and older transport users

Visit London has information about accessible transport, venues and businesses across London. 

This interactive map shows all the changing facilities and accessible public toilets in London.

TFL Contact Details

For more information regarding accessible travel on TFL services you can contact TFL using the below contact details:

Visit the website at: tfl.gov.uk/accessibility

Write to: TfL Customer Services, 4th floor, 14 Pier Walk, London SE10 0ES

Call on 0343 222 1234

For service updates and news follow @TfLAccess on Twitter

To get in touch, provide feedback, make a suggestion or complaint visit tfl.gov.uk/help-and-contact/accessibility

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