A Guide to Accessible Transport in London

Over the past two decades, Transport for London (TfL) have been improving their transport system. Are you getting the most out of the steps they have taken to make it more accessible?

mentor helping a person in a wheelchair

There are various different services available to those that may need further assistance when using public transport. TfL’s Travel Mentoring service offers telephone advice to help plan an accessible route and can provide a mentor for your first few journeys. This service is free of charge and available Monday to Friday 8:00 until 18:00. To find out more visit the TfL website on tlf.gov.uk/dialaride, contact the Travel Mentoring Service direct on 020 3054 4361 or email travelmentor@tfl.gov.uk 

photo of support card for public transport users with learning disabilities

TfL’s Travel support card gives individuals the opportunity to travel independently by letting station staff and bus drivers know that they need assistance. The card has blank boxes for customers to write their name. You can download and print a travel support card from their website.

The Step-free tube map gives detailed information on Tube, DLR and London Overground stations with step-free access between street, platform and train. It includes where you can change step-free between Tube, DLR, London Overground and National Rail. You can request a copy or download this from their website. 

The Avoiding stairs Tube guide shows all Tube and DLR stations where you can use lifts, escalators or ramps between the street and platform. Other helpful guides include:

  • Toilets at tube stations
  • Black and white tube map
  • Audio tube map

These are all available on the TfL website forms page. 

It is important to check before you travel. TfL’s Journey Planner helps you plan your journey in advance giving you options to meet your requirements, such as step-free access. You can choose your preferred mode of transport and adjust walking time. Journey Planner will advise you of the busiest time at stations if you wish to avoid them and make a more comfortable journey. Try planning your next journey here https://tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/ 

You can follow @tflaccess for helpful tips, advice and updates on planned disruptions. 

To help you get a seat all Buses, Tubes, Trains and Trams have clearly marked priority seats for anyone who needs them. If one isn’t available, please ask if someone will give up a seat. 

Most vehicles also have designated wheelchair spaces. Every bus has one and most trains at least two, which you can find by looking for the wheelchair symbol on the outside of the carriage or using the level access boarding point. 

Presentations and Workshops

The TfL Safety and Citizenship Scheme delivers free presentations at Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) schools where pupils are working towards independent travel. 

They have experience and training in working with a wide range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (including autistic spectrum disorder and emotional and behavioural disorders) and can adapt the presentation for your students' needs.

If you're wondering whether the presentation would be suitable for your students, please call us on 020 7565 7303 or email tflsafetyandcitizenship@tfl.gov.uk to discuss presentation content.

Find out more by visiting tfl.gov.uk/accessibility, emailing tflaccessibility@tfl.gov.uk or by following @TfLaccess on Twitter.

Useful links:

Content provided by Amy Edgar, Come on Board, Transport for London


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