Every day is like a Tube strike for wheelchair users

29 April 2014

Ratio of accessible (step-free) Tube stations for each line of the Transport for London network. Bakerloo: 1 in 8, Central: 1 in 10, Circle: 1 in 6, District: 3 in 10, Hammersmith and City: 1 in 4, Jubilee: 1 in 2, Metropolitan: 1 in 4, Northern: 1 in 5 ,As thousands of Londoners struggle to find alternative routes to work during the Tube strike, we hope they pause to reflect on a simple fact: this is what it's like all year round for wheelchair users.

Looking at the Tube map tells you all you need to know:

  • only 1 in 10 stations on the Central line has step-free access
  • the Bakerloo line is not much better, with just 12% of stations step-free
  • even the recently modernised Jubilee and Overground lines barely manage to have half of their stations accessible

Only the DLR can claim to be fully step-free from street level to train, which of course should be applauded, but even this does little to improve the overall situation.

On average, barely 1 in 3 stations offers step-free access of any kind.

Join our network to help us campaign for better disabled access in London and throughout the UK.


Even worse is stations which are supposed to be step free but have the lifts closed down for many months on end for repair. Kilburn is my local example. So even after you struggle to the nearest station with a lift, zap, there is no lift, just 3 flights of stairs. I have various mobility and other problems and rely on my electric bike to take me any long distance, but I can't use it around london because it has a limited battery and I can't get it on or off the tube platforms. It's too heavy for me to carry.

I have been in the situation where both me and my best mate, both of us disabled were not met at a station by any assistance that we had pre-booked ages in advance. This was due to a platform alteration I gather, but not much help to us.

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