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Travelling by london underground as a wheelchair user

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Green Park Underground Station

Underground travel might seem really scary is daunting if you are travelling in a wheelchair. Which stops are accessible? How big is the gap between the platform and the train? Do I need a ramp? Where are the lifts? What if the lift is out of order? It was certainly scary for us when we first used it, but decided to just go for it, try it, treat it as an adventure. And it was a great experience!

First of all, check which stops are step free. We chose those that were labelled with a wheelchair sign on a blue background, so we didn’t need the ramps. Make sure you also check if your destination station is step free. If the stop is marked with a wheelchair sign on a white background, the ramp is required.

Great lines to start your Tube adventures are Elizabeth Line or overground DLR as they are very wheelchair friendly.

London Bridge Station marked as step free from the train to the platform

You can download the step free tube map from the Transport for London website Step-free access – Transport for London (tfl.gov.uk) There are also maps available at the stations. You can also download Tfl Go app or follow Tfl on Twitter to check live updates.

At the station Look for signs to the line and wheelchair access signs that will guide you to the lift or ramps.

Wheelchair access signs at one of the London Tube stations

If you need to use a lift, it will usually be marked with a letter. Sometimes you need to change lifts to get to the right platform. It is always described on the signs, but do not hesitate to ask the staff if you are not sure where to go

Lift at one of the London Tube stations
Lift guide at one of the London Tube stations

One of London Tube stations

Some platforms have level access boarding signs, where you should board the train. If there isn’t any sign on the platform, look for a wheelchair sign on the train door when the train approaches. Boarding through the marked door, you will enter by the wheelchair space.

Level access boarding sign
Clearly marked boarding point
Wheelchair space in Elizabeth Line
No gap between the train and the platform at step free stops
Accessibility at stations, Elizabeth Line
Elizabeth Line
Clearly marked boarding point
At one of the London Tube stations
East India stop, DLR London Overground line

Good to know

  • If you come to the station and the lift is out of order, find a member of staff or call the help button by the lift. The staff will find you an alternative accessible route. You could also take a bus or taxi to the next accessible stop. All London double decker buses have ramps and are free for wheelchair users. Black cabs also all have ramps.
  • You can pay for your journey using a contactless payment card or buy an Oyster card. If you have a railway card, you can go to underground staff at a station and ask them to apply discount on your Oyster card.

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