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Getting around London with a disability

Ashton-under-Lyne...
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Getting around London with a disability

I will be travelling to London in May with my parents who are both pensioners. Whilst mum is agile and has no problem walking around, dad gets out of breath quickly and needs frequents rest stops. They ideally want to get a hotel within a mile of Buckingham Palace (which is the area we would like to visit the most) and get a taxi from Euston station. My problem is that the prices for a decent hotel right in the centre are extortionate. I wondered if anybody had any knowledge of people with disabilities (non-wheel chair users) getting around London. I don't want to rely on expensive taxis and would like to know if any of the tube stations have lifts/escalators and which ones to avoid.

Any advice, no matter how small will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Southport, United...
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1. Re: Getting around London with a disability

I answered on the London forum but had another thought. Would Dad be willing to use a wheelchair on occasion? You could hire one and then when he need a breather he has somewhere to sit and have a little ride. The buses are accessible and have a designated wheelchair space.

Ashton-under-Lyne...
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2. Re: Getting around London with a disability

I asked him the same question, it would make perfect sense but he won't even consider it - says it's tempting fate! It's very frustrating as it would make things so much easier for us but unfortunately he's pretty stubborn. Think we will have to forget the tube and just look at a hotel with good bus links.

Appreciate the help.

Hampshire, United...
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for Eastleigh, Winchester
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3. Re: Getting around London with a disability

If you cant persuade him to use a wheelchair perhaps you could at least persuade him to carry a seat stick so that he can take a break when needed .

For example military1st.co.uk/products/fur301-highlander…

or healthandcare.co.uk/flip-sticks-folding-seat… (shooting sticks are not comfortable or stable)

See tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/…1169.aspx for Step free access to the tube

uk
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4. Re: Getting around London with a disability

Hi, well this is a problem it is not only IF the tube station has lifts but the distance you walk to them, if you go to

TFL site it will give you a map of accessible stations.

tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/…1167.aspx

I am someone who uses the tube and has mobility problems, it is hard work you can walk miles through tunnels to get connections sometimes lifts and escalators don't work, it is busy and you can get pushed about.

My advice leave plenty of time to get where you are going it will take you twice as long as you think it will with a mobility impaired person. It is also very tiring.

I can understand what your Dad means but sometimes it is time to set aside pride and accept help, I was in my 40s when I had to make this decision and a little bit of you does die inside, BUT by accepting help it means I can get around and do things without being in agony with pain!

Maybe you should say to Dad stop being so stubborn/selfish , as it will make the trip for the rest of you a real worry and exhausting! Don't mean to sound harsh but sometimes it needs saying!

Deb

Edited: 07 January 2014, 09:30
Ashton-under-Lyne...
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5. Re: Getting around London with a disability

Thank you Deb - you're right things do take twice as long. It didn't cross my mind that the escalators might not be working and the long walks through the tunnels. I think we're better of sticking to buses and taxis and I'll definitely press dad again about the wheel chair. It will certainly take off a weight and give us all a break and at least we don't have to walk like snails haha.

Jen

Ashton-under-Lyne...
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6. Re: Getting around London with a disability

These look fantastic - I will definitely be purchasing one of these.

Thanks so much for your help.

Jen

uk
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7. Re: Getting around London with a disability

What about a compromise a mobility scooter, that way dad still be in control and you don't have so much worry? I'm sure you can hire one if he would consider it.

Deb

Yorkshire, United...
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8. Re: Getting around London with a disability

As already suggested the buses are brilliant & if your parents have free bus passes then they can use them for free on the london buses just show it to the driver as they board. We have found it can be as quick to hop on a bus which are frequent than walk down endless underground tunnels

This bus map shows all the routes in central london

tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/cent…

I can't offer any advise in regards to hotels as we tend to stay a little out of the centre & travel in by bus/ tube we have previously stayed at clapham junction as well across in the city district (depends which travelodge has the best price).

My mum who has had a below knee amputation 18 months ago & so tires more easily than before tends to take a folding walking stick with her as she feels it helps her walk a bit faster.

Enjoy your visit & just take your time

London, United...
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9. Re: Getting around London with a disability

Combo....

I am someone who lives in relatively central London, has to walk with sticks, and sometimes uses a chair..( as someone else says, it doesn't do much for me, but does help the people trying to help me). However, most of the time I drive myself.

You don't say how long you are coming for, what are the most important things you want to see, and whether you ever drive/ have a car

All of these are important..

If you have a car, or could rent one, this might help you some of the time. London is not a particularly disabled friendly city, and whereas there has been a huge emphasis on cycling, and walking, not too much has been done for those who can't do either.

If you are coming for a week, rather than two or three days, you might consider renting a small apartment..this is usually cheaper then hotels, as you can make some of your own meals and not have to pay restaurant prices all the time, and can also have a rest whenever any of you need to.

Try to decide what you really want to see...for example the area around Buckingham Palace is not the most interesting bit of London, and like anywhere official in the centre of big cities has huge wide open spaces which your father would find difficult. The best way to see the headline sites, the Palace, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's etc. if only from the outside, might be to take one of the open top buses...they are all on web- sites..

There are parts of central London which are much easier to get around slowly and easily once you are there....look at the South Bank, around the Festival Hall, or Covent Garden, or even Soho.....and don't forget the river. The trips aren't cheep, but a ride all the way down to the Thames Barrier and back is something you parents would never forget.

I am not quite sure how this site works, but if it would help your planning to get in touch, please do so.

JY

Hampshire, United...
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for Eastleigh, Winchester
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10. Re: Getting around London with a disability

If you do consider driving in London, not something I would relish, it is important to note that the normal disabled badge parking rules e.g. allowing you to park on yellow lines do not apply in parts of Central London, http://www.bluebadgelondon.org.uk/index.htm - you can only use the limited supply of disabled bays.

However the good news is that you would be exempt from the congestion charge tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/…6736.aspx (vehicles exempt from paying for tax disk are automatically registered)