London Government Backs Launch of New Website Which Allows Visitors With Disabilities to Plan Accessible Visits to London
Visitors to London with specific accessibility needs will soon find it easier to plan and make the most of their stay in the capital using information from a new website – Inclusive London – launched today. People planning a trip to the city will be able to use InclusiveLondon.com to find out about the accessibility features of hotels, restaurants, pubs, shops, museums and tourist attractions, the 2012 Games venues and more. The user-friendly site, which will continue to run after the Games, allows people to post reviews and give feedback about the accessibility facilities offered by a place they have visited. Businesses are being encouraged to log on and sign-up to the site so they can register their details and advertise the accessible facilities they offer. The plan is for the site to become a first port of call for people who will be planning a trip to the capital in 2012 and beyond. The spending power of disabled people in the UK is estimated to be in the region of £80billion each year.
“At the Beijing Games in 2008 the Mayor said that the next Games in London would be the most accessible ever. I also want everybody to have the same opportunities to experience the wonders of this great city whenever they come, whether it is experiencing a great event or touring its wonderful attractions from its museums and theatres to its shops and restaurants. This is a first for a host city and I am confident that as users add information to the site it will become a valuable one stop shop to help visitors with specific access needs to get around the capital and make the most of their stay,” said Deputy Mayor of London Richard Barnes.
Chris Holmes, Director of Paralympic Integration at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), and a former Paralympian said: “InclusiveLondon.com is a fantastic tool that will help us to deliver the most accessible and inclusive Games ever. The site is an invaluable resource for anyone with additional access needs, whether you’re a sports fan planning a trip to the city or simply someone who wants to soak up the party atmosphere during the Games.”
Joyce Cook, Chair of Level Playing Field, said: “One of the biggest challenges faced by any travelling disabled sports fan is to find reliable information on accessible accommodation, tourist spots and travel around a city. We very much welcome this new website which will most definitely be of great help to disabled travellers visiting London 2012 for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Grant Kennedy, Chief Executive of Direct Enquiries (which operates a national guide to accessible businesses – Inclusive Britain – which receives millions of hits every week), said: “Direct Enquiries are delighted to work in partnership with the GLA on this exciting project. InclusiveLondon.com will provide valuable information to millions of people who require specific access and facilities. This site will lead to disabled and older people having greater choice and will assist companies to improve their service for a wider audience’.
Inclusivelondon.com can filter search results by various accessibility features, such as whether a location has wheelchair or pushchair access, if there are hearing loops available, if there are baby changing facilities, whether assistance dogs are welcome and details of parking and toilet facilities. It can also help people plan their trip to the capital by providing a direct link to the Transport for London Journey Planner. It has been developed by the London 2012 team at City Hall working with Direct Enquiries. InclusiveLondon.com can be accessed via VisitLondon.com, the capital’s official visitor organisation which receives around 1.5 million visits a month. Currently more than 7,700 locations have accessibility information against them. Business and individuals are being actively encouraged to visit the site and add information that is available. Over the course of the next year the information will be increased, and organisations involved in the hospitality industry will be contacted to ask them to add their details. Individuals are also being urged to play their part and add information and review the places they have visited.