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Accessible travel in London

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm off to the weekender next weekend! :D

But the joy that is first great western trains have decided to make all users of mobility scooters to apply for a permit before they are allowed to travel with it. This takes 2 weeks to process. Which means I have to be pushed around in my manual wheelchair. Which sucks because I kind of like to control my own movements, but it does make it harder in terms of getting around in London. With the scooter, I could do the equivilant of 30 mins walking or more (its meant to have a 12 mile radius but I don't trust it). With the wheelchair its bloody hard for the person pushing to do anything like that. Tubes in the west of London seem to be fairly in accessible to wheelchairs, but I have to travel from Paddington to South Kensington and then to Farringdon (as thats the nearest accessible station to Old street).

Any suggestions of anything other than TFL journey planner which is better at pointing out accessible routes? I think its going to end up being mainly buses, which I can cope with, but i think I'm having to add 30 mins - 1 hour extra to all my journey times.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The tube map shows which stations have step-free access. Apparently Farringdon does but that surprises me as Farringdon is currently a building site for Crossrail.

    The deep level tubes are basically not accessible for wheelchair users. You'll have to use the buses, all of which are wheelchair accessible in London. From Paddington to Old Street use the 205 bus.

    First Great Western ask for a permit to ensure that your scooter is safe to travel with. Many scooters are not safe to use on trains; they're too heavy and the turning circle isn't tight enough. Scooters are prohibited from the tube in any event and most are too heavy for the ramps on buses.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you able to use crutches, you can manage the Tube. When I did the Weekender in a wheelchair I realised that self-propelling around Old Street is not an option. Most taxi drivers are helpful.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've got someone to push me, and I can use my stick for short distances. I might have to take a bus to an accessible station and then do the same at the other end.

    If there's a lift but its not step free (I.e. the platform isn't level with the carriage) I could manage that, but I don't think it's easy to find out if that's the case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tbh you should probably ring or email the people who are setting the weekend up and chat to them because we can't know all the variables, best to check this all out in person. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss Riot, Old Street tube station is closed next weekend if that makes a difference to your plans :) As AR has said a bus is probably going to be the best option.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah moorgate was suggested as the alternate station but thats inaccessible.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As I said right up there, the tube map TELLS YOU which stations are step free. The white circle & wheelchair is step free to platform and the blue circle & wheelchair is step free to train. If there's no wheelchair logo it is not step free.

    Avoid the tube and use the buses. Why? It's a long way to the surface from the deep level tubes. Kings Cross St Pancras is step free from the train but still requires four separate lift rides to get from platform to street level. You'll also get free travel on buses but not on tubes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Good point about free travel! Totally forgot about that!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not all mobility scooters will fit on buses. And I'm not sure whether there's a legal requirement for bus drivers to allow you on the bus. (because of space and stuff)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wheelchairs, including motorised wheelchairs, are covered by what was the DDA. If a bus has wheelchair provision you have priority.

    Mobility scooters do not have the same recognition, and rightly so. They're banned from most public transport because they're often too big, too heavy and don't have the required manoeuvrability.

    If you're on crutches the tube is fine, because of the escalators. But with so few step free stations you're best off staying above ground and seeing the sights if you're in a chair. Every single London bus is wheelchair accessible by boarding through the centre door.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    DDA

    ^V :naughty:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can put your wheelchair in my tube anytime ;-)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I understand why some scooters are banned, but there are lots (like mine) which aren't classed as road vehicles which are no bigger than most motorised wheelchairs. I'd beer get a electric wheelchair because I'm not unwell enough. I can walk short distances where as they normally only allow those who can't walk at all to have one.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's the point of the permit scheme: to make sure your scooter will fit. They do it because of the number of people who kick off when they're not allowed to take their huge trucks on board.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The fact its a two week turn around is a bit annoying though
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Surely, this is something you should have researched before deciding to go?
  • *BananaMonkey**BananaMonkey* Lyrical Poster Posts: 5,374 Part of The Furniture
    Melian wrote: »
    Surely, this is something you should have researched before deciding to go?

    Wow lovely supportive comment there

    Sent from my GT-I8190 using Tapatalk 2
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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wow lovely supportive comment there

    Sent from my GT-I8190 using Tapatalk 2

    Maybe it wasn't entirely helpful, but Melian does have a point.

    Miss Riot knows that she has mobility issues, even without this new train rules perhaps some advance planning would have helped here.

    However, sometimes if you don't have anything nice to say, etc. Miss Riot has got all the help she was realistically going to get from London types, I hope there's enough advice to sort it all out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is something that has literally come in within the past month so when I have travelled before with my scooter there's been no problem. I did research just in case and that's how I found out about needing a permit.
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