Accessibility: Making London a city for all

Customer uses ramp to board a London Underground Train

Enhancing our streets, further improving step-free access and giving customers the tools to plan accessible journeys all contribute towards the Mayor’s vision of London being a city for all.

Our city’s transport must be easy to use to everyone – whether you are younger or older, a wheelchair or scooter user, have a visual or hearing impairment, dementia, autism, or you travel with small children.

Access to jobs, education, healthcare and leisure opportunities is something all of us have a right to, and transport needs to be accessible to make it happen.

Step-free improvements

We continue to make progress with London Underground’s largest ever programme of accessibility investment, worth £200m. In outer London, Buckhurst Hill was the first station to benefit and since then Newbury Park, and South Woodford have also been improved.

Major step-free projects have now also been completed at Tower Hill, Vauxhall, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street, Victoria and Finsbury Park. And, once open, the Elizabeth Line will add a further 41 step-free stations to the network.

Improving customer experience

It’s important that our staff understand the barriers and challenges our customers face so that they can make it easier for anyone travelling in the Capital. That’s why all our station staff receive Disability Equality Training as part of their initial training package.

We have more staff at our stations than any other metro system in the world and we are are proud to operate a turn-up-and-go system, providing spontaneous travel without pre-booking. We have also moved staff out from our little-used ticket offices and back rooms into ticket halls, providing them with tablets loaded with helpful travel information such as our Step-free Tube Guide.

As well as this, we are building a programme of work to improve how well we are able to design for the mind. This will eventually lead to new standards and guidance and by looking at lighting and signage, it will make travelling in London more accessible for those with autism, learning difficulties, mental health issues and dementia.

We provide a free travel mentoring service for customers who don’t have the confidence to use the network. A travel mentor can accompany a customer on a journey and give them helpful tips and tools to help them build confidence to become an independent traveller.

Buses

London has the largest accessible bus network in the world and ninety-five per cent of London’s bus stops are now accessible. This percentage that has tripled since 2008, when the figure stood at 29 per cent.

The entire fleet of 9,300 buses are low floor, wheelchair accessible and are fitted with ramps. Buses are also able to ‘kneel’ to pavement level to make it easier for older or disabled passengers to board.

This year we are also celebrating 10 years of iBus. These audio and visual announcements on buses have been a huge improvement to all bus users especially to those with visual and hearing impairments.

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If you’re interested in hearing more about accessibility and what we’re doing to make London a city for all, you can watch the video recordings from the Access All Areas event on Periscope (part of Twitter).

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