London has one of the most complex transport networks in the world. The purview of Transport for London (TfL), includes principal road routes, rail networks including London Underground and Overground, buses, taxis, trams, cycling provision and river services. In 2014, the system catered for 26.6 million trips per day on average - an 8.2% increase from 2008 – and is expected to grow by 5.5 million by 2041 .
Unfortunately, access to the transport network is limited for some of the most vulnerable groups in our society. 14% of users are classified as disabled and 11% are over 65 which is expected to grow significantly in the future. Research by TfL suggests that 46% of the public transport network was inaccessible for those with mobility impairments in 2014/15 which meant they faced longer journeys and some journeys may not be physically possible .
Tube networks can be particularly challenging for wheelchair users.
“Planning a tube journey when you have reduced mobility is a bit like running a small military operation. You need to research every leg of the journey beforehand, and probably need to call ahead, especially as TfL advises that you check the lifts are running if you need them.”
- Travel in London Report 8 by TfL