Accessibility on public transport

2 months ago (12:18 AM)
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Invite groups Transport for All and Trailblazers for a meeting and we will give you far better advice and cost peanuts compared to any so called Advisers and Consultants.

Talk London

Hi SpeedySticks,

I've done some investigation for you and such groups are already closely involved with TfL’s accessibility work, most notably in developing the training programmes for front line staff. Last summer, TfL began a pilot project on the Tube to create accessibility centres of excellence at five of the busiest step-free stations. New staff training was developed and is being delivered in partnership with disabled people’s organisations Inclusion London and Transport for All. For the first time frontline staff have had training delivered by disabled trainers alongside the in-house team.

In addition, a new accessibility training programme for the Capital’s bus drivers has been developed in partnership with Transport for All and Age UK London. Training includes a film and workbook designed to give bus drivers a greater understanding of the needs of their older and disabled customers based on the personal experience of participants.

I hope that's helpful. Please do keep sharing your thoughts here.

Talk London Community Manager

Steve R

Some drivers lower the bus for me but not all and my walking stick is visable, I would suggest that the training etc. is not working.
On another point can signage be improved to the level shown at Charing Cross which shows the best place for disabled passengers to get on the train for exit at their station. I just stand at the, probably blocking, point when I reach the platform, general disabled signage is poor at other stations as well.


Excuse my ignorance, do you need the bus to be lowered because of your sight disability?

Steve R

I am not sure who this question is aimed at, my disability is mobility, or lack of. If I were blind then I would expect it to be lowered as it presents another problem when boarding or exiting a bus with an unkown height gettong on or off, even with a stick.


In Greenford station there's a new lift. Commuters were reporting that it doesn't work. Councillors've been asking TfL why new lift is braking out everyday. TfL kept replying it is OK. Finally someone solved the mystery - the tube stuff was switching it off because kids were going up and down and he switches it on only per request of the passenger (wonder if you are on the platform do you have to shout at him downstairs?).


Some Northern line stations have raised parts of the platform for level access for the disabled. I like these. They should be rolled out more extensively. Signs notifying passengers of their existence would certainly help
What would also help would be to redirect staff to platform level and to other areas in the station so disabled people have assistance from the street to the train.

Some stations have HUGE mounts between the train and the edge of the platform. Lewisham and Elephant and Castle train stations are good examples of this. Especially at Lewisham the space on some parts of the platform is so big I doubt you could get a buggy on. Possibly some station investment could rectify this?


There does seem to be a problem that some bus drivers do not lower the floor at the front of their bus. My mother is 94 and sometimes finds that the bus is not near the pavement either. I am usually with her but she is quite frail although still keen to use her Freedom Pass.
I find that some buggies are far too large to travel on a bus. I stood once, for several minutes, waiting for three mothers with buggies on a bus trying to sort themselves out so that one of them could get off the bus. I seem to remember that at one time buggies were small and light and had to be collapsed before getting on a bus. Once on, they were then stored under the stairs if it was a double decker.
I have noticed that in Bristol the buses do not lower but a portion of the kerb is higher. This seems to work quite well but would probably only work on a route with one bus serving it.
Could I suggest that accessibility also might include people not hogging two seats by sitting on the outside seat? Then also, I remember when it was the rule that a small child should sit on the lap of the adult they are with particularly when the bus is full.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that on an recent Tube journey, after seven at night, that some young people offered me their seat. On another journey, however, on Southeastern trains several seats were occupied by small children but the adults with them did not make any attempt to suggest they stand for elderly travellers and also did not take small children on to their laps.
I realise that TFL are not responsible for Southeastern railway stations but I find that sometimes on stations the carriages all go further down the platform so that, if it is raining for example, it is necessary for those sheltering to hurry down the platform in the pouring rain to board the train. Sometimes quite a distance too e.g. Lewisham and Sidcup.


Please make Penge West accessible - either a lift on the bridge like at Forest Hill or a way to get out on the southbound side. With a buggy I either have to find alternative routes home or walk back from Anerley as there's just so many steps & not always someone around ableo to help. I can't imagine anyone who has limited mobility in any way can use it either. A shame as it's got a lot of good links through that station but only if you can climb a LOT of steps!


an office worker living in stoke newington, working in Angel
spends 3£ on transport daily
and yet he is making 6 k a month, as an example

a cleaner worker living in Haringay and working in the city
spends 6.6£ and earns less than 1k

Transport should be a public service able to balance this


I would Like to see wrist bands instead of oyster cards being introduction to the disabled as, people with mental health issues and disabilities would find them easier to use.

Steve R

I really like that idea, the technology to implement it is quite easy to do, it would certainly make it easier for me so I don't have to keep getting to my pocket for the card. Good suggestion!.

Talk London

Hi all,

Today it’s been announced that the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, will be investing £200 million in step-free access across the London Underground over the next five years.

As part of its draft Business Plan, Transport for London (TfL) has committed to making more than 30 additional Tube stations step-free by 2021/22. This extra investment will bring the total number of underground stations with step-free access to all platforms to over 100.

TfL will be bringing forward delivery of step-free access at outer London stations at Harrow on the Hill and Newbury Park, with work beginning in 2017. This is in addition to major stations such as Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Victoria becoming step-free in 2017. 

TfL plan to utilise the latest technology and knowledge from the wider transport industry to speed up the delivery of making the world’s oldest network more accessible, with work also at key interchanges such as Bank and Elephant & Castle.

Every station on Crossrail’s Elizabeth line, due in 2019, will be step-free at all platforms and trains will be more accessible.

Accessibility should of course be a priority. Will these developments make a difference to you?

Talk London Team


Why are there no escalators and lifts at every London local railway station? Our population consist of people with various health issues, disable people, those with young children, elderly people, all who are unable to use the steps. Fare is very expensive, commuters have made Public Transport very rich and it is time the money is use to make improvements so that everybody is encourage to use their local railway station irrespective of their circumstances. It will help reduce cars on our roads.

I really wish that those who are in the position to make travel improvements cared about people and love this city because currently the care and love is just not reflecting. There is no sense of urgency either. Is it so difficult to have escalators and lifts inserted at each station? Sometimes I feel the person(s) who will make these improvements is yet to be born.


Apologies, as I have just seen and read the feedback which where at the bottom of the list. Why does London have to wait around five years for lifts to be inserted at each station when it all can be done this year after all the money is in hand to make the improvements in order to benefit the people that need them now. Pollution is deadly and waiting is a mistake, prioritising the improvements as urgently as possible will help reduce the amount of cars on our roads particularly from people who are presently unable to use the trains (local railways stations in particular).


I think the mayors office should be concentrating on improvements that benefit everyone rather than a select few every time. Mayor's not happy spending our money unless there is a minority group of some sort involved to increase his publicity. Basic things like running services on time, increasing service levels to meet increasing demand, teaching bus drivers how to drive properly.
Pushchairs are becoming an increasing problem on buses taking up far too much valuable space and I would like to see regulations introduced to only allow folded pushchairs on buses. Getting sick of seeing pushchairs blocking the main aisle and exit as they are a serious safety hazard.


It seems to me that too many of the issues regarding accessibility on public transport are seen as being about children & buggies instead of about elderly & disabled persons, despite the recent court case (which was an "accident waiting to happen").

I have too many bad memories of being elbowed aside when trying to access lifts. Buses, of course, have their own well-known issues and I will not use a wheelchair on a bus but have better experience of trains provided that you plan ahead and, above all, try to find the exact job title of the person you need to assist you so that you can ask for them.


I think more than enough has already been done. It costs a fortune and adds to the obesity epidemic we all pay for. Walk you child. Get it out of the push chair by 3 years max.


I had an interesting insight recently from a parent with young children. This followed on from the court case involving access to the "wheelchair space" on buses.

I was asked why disabled and elderly persons did not use transport "provided just for them" by which she meant Dial-a-Ride. I pointed out that Dial-a-Ride (and Taxicard without "double-swiping") can be expensive and unreliable. "Patient Transport" for Hospital Appointments is also unreliable.

I actually think people would use D-a-R if costs were reduced but then we are up against a Govt. that would decline to fund it.


Post suffered from accidental edit malfunction.

Was thinking of generic "dial-a-ride" which includes "Community Transport". Dial-a-Ride as a specific service is of course free.

Dial-a-Ride (specific service) can leave you stranded because they will take you somewhere but not necessarily bring you back. Timings an be a problem (one hour wait).Not all Boroughs provide a "Community Transport" service but you can book via a neighbouring borough.

Steve R

There is a point that you missed, Taxicard operators refuse to take you to hospital appointments, even going as far as assuming every trip to a hospital is for your appointment.
I have had to use the postcode of an house nearby for a non timed, ie appointment, trip.
I cannot understand this attitude in the first place, there are treating us as 2nd class people, I am sure their normal, business, operation doesn't refuse to take people, but then they are rarely on time anyway and even double swiping still limits journey distance. It makes using the taxicard a very limited option, using only for non important journeys.