Tips on Traveling to London for Paralympics
If you’re one of the 500,000 going to the Paralympic and/or Olympic games in London Aug.29-Sept. 9—and you’re a person with disabilities— London is one of the most accessible cities outside the U.S.
VisitLondon.com, the official London guide, has an impressive website on accessibility. It contains detailed access information on public transportation, hotels, theaters and attractions throughout the city.
The attractions section includes a description of the access features plus a link to the attraction’s website, while the theater section features access maps to London’s major theaters. Information on accessible public transportation and hotels is also included.
More tips on London:
- Avoid the “tubes” (London’s underground rapid transit system) as they are not totally accessible—the gap between the train and the platform is too wide, or they are accessible one way but not the way back.
- All black cabs and public buses are required to be wheelchair-accessible. Wheelchair users ride buses for free!
- Regulations prohibit EU-based airlines, travel agents or tour operators from refusing service or denying boarding to passengers with disabilities.
- EU-based airlines cannot charge for transporting wheelchairs.
- All EU airports are required to provide wheelchair assistance throughout the terminal.
- Airports have lanes for people with disabilities to streamline security.
- Many accessible public toilets in England are locked to prevent vandalism. Before visiting London, purchase a key that unlocks any of the 9,000 accessible toilets in the U.K. that are registered with the National Key Scheme. Visit www.radar-shop.org.uk.
By the way, the day after the closing ceremonies is expected to be the busiest day in the airport’s history.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.