Lonely Planet has published an article on London for visitors with disabilities. They point out that while the standard and quality of provision for people with a disability varies between hotels, restaurants and sights in London, considerable choice exists across the board. The article goes on to say that a useful list of accessible hotels, restaurants, shops, pubs, public toilets, attractions, bank,s and entertainment venues in the capital (and across the UK) can be found at
Inclusive London. In addition, although the London transport network is not 100% accessible, with appropriate forward planning, visitors with mobility problems should be able to get around London without too much difficulty. Plan your trip on the Transport for London site, leave plenty of time, and if possible have an alternative route prepared. For specific Olympic events, use the Spectator Journey Planner on www.london2012.com. Journey planning assistance is also available on the 24-hour helpline (0843 7222 1234) or use Textphone on 020 7918 3015.
Furthermore, Lonely Planet points out that “seats are available on most London Underground, London Overground and Docklands Light Railway platforms, while audio and visual info is provided on most trains and platforms. Most stations have wide ticket gates for wheelchair access or those with guide dogs. Consult
www.london2012.com‘s Accessible Travel page for a map of accessible stations in London, highlighting 2012 venue stations with the best access arrangements for people with a disability, stations with staff assistance available, stations with step-free access between the entrance and the train or tram, or step-free access from the entrance to the platform. The page has an equivalent map of National Rail stations for towns hosting Olympic events in the southeast near London and around the UK. Visitors can pre-book assistance at London Overground stations by calling 0845 601 4867 (give at least 48 hours advance notice). Pre-booking is not necessary on London Underground and DLR services. Beyond London, the National Rail site employs an interactive tool (Stations Made Easy) on its Passengers with Disabilities page for planning your route through stations.
Most of the city’s 8000 buses are low-floor (with a retractable ramp) for wheelchair access, and all licensed London black cabs are wheelchair-accessible and come equipped with induction loops, intercoms, intermediate steps, grab handles and other features; assistance dogs can board. If booking a licensed minicab, check on the accessibility features available or request a particular vehicle. For coach travel,
National Express has a 24-hour helpline and can assist people with a disability if given notice of 24 hours – the company aims to have a 100% accessible coach network by early 2013.
If you are driving, Blue Badge parking (for drivers with a disability) can be booked on the
London 2012 site; you should also consult www.parkingforbluebadges.com. Also look at the London 2012 website for details on Park & Ride (including accessible parking spaces for vehicles) before you catch a wheelchair accessible shuttle to the Games venue.
“All river piers are wheelchair accessible, with step-free access from pier to boat, but passengers should consult individual operators about the level of accessibility on board their boats” writes Lonely Planet.
Transport for London has a large print downloadable guide to Getting around London and also provides a free Dial-a-Ride service for people with a disability who are unable to use public transport – check the website.
Beyond London, the
National Rail site employs an interactive tool (Stations Made Easy) on its Passengers with Disabilities page for planning your route through stations. Move the cursor over the map and photographic images of various parts of the station appear. For coach travel, National Express has a 24-hour helpline and can assist people with a disability if given notice of 24 hours – the company aims to have a 100% accessible coach network by early 2013.
Lonely Planet lists a number of useful sites. For example,
First Group Games Travel (for direct coach services to the Olympics and Paralympics, including a wheelchair space on each service), and Transport For All. Information about other useful sites such as Tourism for All UK (http://www.tourismforall.org.uk/), DisabledGo, and many more, can be found on the Access Tourism NZ website. To read the Lonely Planet article in full, visit
Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/england/london/travel-tips-and-articles/77174?affil=twit#ixzz1zeYiVeT2