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Disability on The Underground research

Katewix Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited November 2018 in Research and opportunities
Hi I'm Kate! I am a design student at Central Saint Martins in London. I wanted to connect with the community as I am doing a project on promoting equality for those with disabilities on the underground.

As I do not have disabilities myself, I wanted to connect with you to get a different perspective and ensure that all angles are covered. Any opinions, contribution or thoughts would be greatly appreciated! 
 I also have 5 questions below and would really appreciate it if I could get your thoughts!!

Thank you! 

1. Does your daily commute produce stress and if so how do you calm down?
2. Are there any specific aspects of your commute that add to your stress?
3. Have you ever noticed someone in need of help on the tube or been in need of help?
4. Do you feel that TFL supports their vulnerable commuters?
5. Do you have any suggestions on how the tube could be a safer environment?


  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,793 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing @Katewix, hopefully our members will be able to share their thoughts! 
  • JulesA65
    JulesA65 Member Posts: 33 Courageous
    My husband and I went to London a couple of years ago. I was very impressed with TfL for the support and the wonderful service. My husband has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair when we go out. We travelled by DLR to our hotel and this was so easy to access. We found staff very helpful when using our visitor Oyster cards too. The DLR is very wheelchair accessible and we found people very flexible and moving when the wheelchair space was needed. We had to access a couple of tube stations too, and the staff were so helpful and friendly and guiding us to the lifts we needed and the platforms we needed. As for the buses, it was fantastic that wheelchairs had priority over wheeelchairs - Nottingham take note!!! We did have one issue with one lady who was being deliberately awkward but on the whole, we found accessing London and visiting sites so easy. At Greenwich Park, there is even a little buggy at the top that will take wheelchairs and those with mobility issues to the bottom of the park. 

    So thumbs up TfL. They also sent us maps with wheelchair accessible tube stations etc. 
  • scottysnan
    scottysnan Member Posts: 10 Listener
    I worked on the underground at various stations and it really depends on the supervisors some say we can help people others would not let you leave your position as there was a risk of injury to either the disabled person or the staff member. It was the same for buggies. Most of the stations were not step free access. 
    There are also wheelchair users who do not want help as they commute every day and would like to travel independently.
  • scottysnan
    scottysnan Member Posts: 10 Listener
    No it shouldn't but certain supervisors are not disability aware and are actually scared of disabled people. They should have staff trained on disability awareness who are able to assist in these situations. 
    Working on the underground is an eye opener in how independent the majority of wheelchair users are.
  • scottysnan
    scottysnan Member Posts: 10 Listener
    If you are visually impaired you are automatically assisted to the platform and put on train, you then inform the station they are going to with train number and what carriage they are in so they can be met and assisted out of the station
  • scottysnan
    scottysnan Member Posts: 10 Listener
    No at the stations I worked at it was they just turned up at gate line and asked for assistance. I know you have to book  ahead if you are using national rail, but not the underground.


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