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London Transfers

Anyone have some advice on transfers from Gatwick Airport to downtown London. One of our party is handicapped and I wonder if that will be any sort of a problem. Also, he uses a scooter - it is possible to take that scooter on the tubes?

Thank you.

Posted by
290 posts

I was just in London for a week at the beginning of Dec 2007. Some of the busses have hydrollic suspension with driver controls, so the bus is lowered for handicapped access. I didn't see a single scooter on the tubes, but I did see a tube employee helping a blind person onto the train platform and into the train. I'm thinking the gap between the trains and the platform would be a problem for scooters. Not to mention, many of the tube stations are not wheelchair accessable with only stairs and esculators. You would have to really plan transportation route to where you all want to go sightseeing using the tube website given by a previous poster. It will be tough, but doable.

Posted by
505 posts


I don't think a scooter would work on the Tube, both because so many stations are not accessible and also because the trains are small with narrow aisles. I don't think a scooter would fit on, especially at rush hour.

The other issue is that the maps don't always tell the full truth - a station may be 'accessible', but that doesn't mean that the connections between various lines at that station will be accessible. I remember very very few stations that would be wheelchair accessible.

In London you might be better with a wheelchair rather than a scooter. A lot of buses and trains will not take scooters at all or will only take take scooters that fit very specific dimensions. You also will be dealing with crowded and sometimes quite narrow sidewalks so someone on a scooter might have trouble getting through safely. A less bulky wheelchair would be easier to get around and more likely to be permitted on public transport.


Posted by
5191 posts

I lived in London and have also visited many times and I don't think that I have ever seen a scooter or wheelchair on the tube. One of the problems is that very few of the tube stations are handicap accessible. Most have stairs and escalators to get to the platforms. There are some buses that are accessible. Try looking at the transport for london website ( You can get a tube map here. The tube map shows which stations are handicap accessible ... unfortunately there are not many in central London. This site also has info on the buses.

Posted by
3580 posts

Go to for info on London transit. There is a section on "accessibility." It is actually possible to get around the Tube without stairs.

Posted by
504 posts

Check with your hotel about a car service from the airport. The owner or concierge might have arrangements for discounted fares. When we were leaving last year, the concierge at our little hotel pointed out that a private car reserved through them was the same prices for the three of us as it was to take a cab and the train. Also, there might be accessiblity issues on the train. Check the getting to/from the airport section of the Gatwick airport website - haven't looked, so I don't know what information is out there.

The buses did have wheelchair lifts and we saw people using them last October all over greater London.