London’s transport system has seen record levels of investment in accessibility over the past few years. As a result, the capital now has one of the most accessible transport networks in the world.
Investing in an accessible transport network
Why accessibility is important
Every day in London 1.3 million journeys are made by people with disabilities, and 700,000 trips are taken by people aged over 75.
What’s more, nearly five million journeys are made by passengers carrying heavy luggage, and 1.5 million by people with small children. Easy access to the transport network is therefore important to almost all Londoners.
Accessibility improvements so far
Our achievements in creating an accessible transport network for London are many, including:
- 45 per cent of Transport for London’s (TfL) Rail and Underground network is now step-free, up from around 30 per cent in 2008
- London’s fleet of buses is the most accessible bus fleet in the world, carrying almost 2.3 billion passengers a year – more than any other time since the early 1960s
- Each of London’s 8,500 accessible buses is fitted with automatic wheelchair ramps as well as the innovative iBus audio-visual system to help those with impaired vision or hearing travel more easily
- The number of accessible bus stops has more than doubled since 2008, with 80 per cent of bus stops now accessible
- All of London’s 22,000 Black Cabs are 100 per cent wheelchair accessible. Many taxis also have:
- colour contrast patches on seats
- coloured grab handles
- a swivel seat
- an intermediate step
- an intercom
- an induction loop
Alongside this, TfL also operates Dial-a-Ride, a free door to door service for disabled and older passengers. Dial-a-Ride helps those who can’t use the public transport network to go shopping, visit friends and family and travel to recreational activities such as the theatre.
What we’re doing next
Accessibility on the network has improved in recent years but the Mayor recognises that things aren’t perfect and there is more to be done. The Mayor is committed to making it easier for older people and people with disabilities to use the transport network. We want to increase the number of people who feel confident travelling in London.
There will be a further 40 step-free London Underground and London Overground stations over the next ten years including key interchanges like Victoria, Vauxhall, Bank and Finsbury Park. By 2018, over half of TfL’s stations will have step-free access.
Around a dozen stations that will benefit from a new £76m step-free access ‘Partnership’ fund. This will be used to match contributions from local councils and property developers for improvements to step-free access at a number of priority locations, unlocking large numbers of new accessible journeys.
We’re also investing an additional £17 million to make 95 per cent of bus stops accessible by the end of 2016.
When Crossrail fully opens in 2019, all 40 stations from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east will be stepfree. The whole of Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations will also be step-free, opening up wheelchair user access to the heart of the West End. In addition, substantial improvements will be made to enhance the information and assistance available to customers.
Our accessibility publications
The Mayor’s Transport Strategy Accessibility Implementation Plan (AIP) was published in March 2012, following extensive consultation. The AIP sets out what the current committed funding will deliver in terms of improved access to the transport system and identifies options beyond the current funding settlement.
In December 2012, the Mayor and TfL launched Your accessible transport network, a new accessibility action plan. The document demonstrated our renewed effort in making it easier for people to travel around the capital. An update was published in May 2015.