Public transport in a wheelchair

I am just starting to venture out in my wheelchair - am a newbie to the chair.

We are going to London in a few months and having booked the theatre tickets, we are now figuring out how to get there!  HAs anyone else travelled by train or underground in a wheelchair (I will have my family with me to help).  I would be travelling from Surrey.  Our options are drive and park, drive and tube for last bit, drive and taxi or train and tube/taxi.   I have no idea how I would get onto the train or tube, given the step and the gap.  Have looked on websites for trains and tubes but I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has done it and can advise on best way to do it.  Many thanks.  Oh, meant to say I can transfer out of chair but can only do really shallow steps.stairs .


My first advice is to ring well ahead of time the train service you will be using and let them know you need a ramp to get on and off the trains.This is a must for all stops you may have to make to change over trains if that is what the journey entails.

There are many black cabs in London you can call ahead of time to be there waiting for you at the station.Many black cabs have wheelchair ramps.Just before you set off on your journey ring again to confirm there will be ramps and a personale of that company to help you off the train.

If you plan to use the bus services at some point,you can again ring ahead of time and see if they provide buses with wheelchair access.

Tanni Grey-Thompson is a wheelchair user and uses trains frequently.

Its all plan ahead of time,you cannot just drive your wheelchair on and off a train you will need a ramp.

I hope this helps?




Routinely travel by public transport including London.

Trains are good, you get put near the disabled loo. Advance booking is recommended and you can only travel between stations that have disabled access to the platforms. You can make advance booking of assistance either on line or stations. This is separate from train ticket purchase, which can be cheaper if you book in advance on line, or at stations. The rail card issue is a straight money issue - will you use it sufficiently to justify the cost.

All London busses and most busses elsewhere have access for one wheelchair so again not a problem. Some London taxis have disabled access and those that don’t will normally get you in if it is a normal back cab. Car type taxis are a problem unless you can transfer yourself into a seat.

Underground is almost a no no - few stations have disabled access.

Just need to plan ahead more than if you were fully fit otherwise no real problems.

Sorry if you've already seen this but have you come across this yet?-x-

Hi I'm in a wheelchair and I travel down to London about once a month. For the train journey I book assisted travel so there is an attendant and ramps to get on to and off of the train. I have used the tube once but wouldn't recomend it and you can only go to certain station. I've also tried the busses but these are very crowed and a bit of a nightmare. So once I'm there I catch a Taxi (like anything else you get good and bad Taxi drivers). I've had some who refused to take me and I've reported them (it goes onto their file and if they keep refusing they lose their Taxi licience, as it is a legal requirement not to discriminate based on disabilitiy).  Some Taxi drivers are wonderfully helpful, lovely nice people (I tip these ones ;-))). I have also travel across London in my electric wheelchair as the pavement are quite good. So if your hotel and theatre is not to far away you could do that too.

I hope this helps and that you have a wonderful time.

:-)))) Mary

Only a few stations on the tube are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs, so it is unlikely that the tube will be of use to you.

All buses are wheelchair accessible, but there is only one wheelchair space, and it may already be occupied by the time the bus arrives.

All black taxis have a ramp, and are required by law to take wheelchair passengers. If a taxi driver refuses to take you, you can take the number and report him/her to Transport for London.

For the journey in to London, you can book assistance, and someone will be available with a ramp at the start and the end of your journey to assist you on and off the train.

I assume that you have checked that the Theatre you are going to is accessible to someone in a wheelchair.

If you could tell me where you are coming from and which Theatre you are going to, I could advise you on the various bus/tube/taxi options which are available.