Access to Tube stations in London

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Dec 6th, 2001, 06:04 PM
  #1
Martha
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Access to Tube stations in London

I'm going to be traveling with my elderly mother (who has bad knees) and my 5-month pregnant niece to London in March. Since they will not be able to walk much, I was planning on taking the Tube frequently. I can't remember if there are elevators at tube stations - I just remember long steep stairs. We will be staying in the Notting Hill area. Can anyone advise me as to the availability of elevators, or escalators at tube stations? Thanks
Martha
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 06:29 PM
  #2
mia
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Wonderful escalators ~ I am/was neither pregnant nor elderly, but by the end of a long day of sightseeing, I was soo happy to be on an escalator,then a train,just wished someone would carry me from the train to my door
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 06:31 PM
  #3
mia
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Sorry, Martha, was that too vague? Every tube station that we were in had escalators.The stations in Covent Garden have elevators.Around Notting Hill,I am not sure about, but they may all have some sort of help,considering handicapped people and all.Hope this is more helpful, M
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 06:42 PM
  #4
Mara
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Hi Martha
The website www.thetube.com gives information under "service update" plus www.transportforlondon.gov.uk/jp_index.html gives a link about detailed info for access in each station.
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 07:12 PM
  #5
Joanne
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Don't forget to double-check the bus routes, they might be easier on your group than the tube and might even take you closer to some destinations. And since there are three of you, you might even find it economical to take taxis sometimes.
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 09:21 PM
  #6
janis
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Martha - just about every tube station has escalators or elevators (if they need them since some lines run near the surface and some are very deep the need varies from line to line)

BUT - that won't necessarily make them very usable for your Mom. the escalators are only to get you from the Street to the tube and back. There are no escalators down below. In some stations you have to walk the equivelant of 1 to 6 blocks underground, up and down stairs in thick crowds etc just to get from one train to another.

For many journeys a cab will not be too expensive for the 3 of you. And Buses will often require a LOT less climbing and walking than the tube.

I take the tube everywhere - but I really think my 78 yr old mother no longer could. It can be a REAL trial.
 
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Dec 6th, 2001, 11:16 PM
  #7
Morning Giggle
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Martha,

I have to add my two cents and advise you to take cabs, especially with an elderly person in tow. With three people, cabs don't add up to much more than tube tickets in the West End. And honestly, they are so worth it.

You can see a lot from the window of a cab, get the feel of the city.

I am an economical traveller who took the tube for years when I lived in London, but have now decided that in that city, cabs add so much to the joy of the trip that they are well worth it.
 
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Dec 7th, 2001, 05:30 AM
  #8
amy
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martha,

contrary to many of the above posters, i actually might not recommend the tube for you. often there is very far to walk if you are switching lines and every tube station has stairs. if they have escalators and lifts it is only to take you through a section and there are many which don't have lifts or escalators. i would really recommend checking the tube website to make sure. furthermore, i highly recommend busses. it is an interesting way to see the city and there are usually seats or ledges at bus stops where people can rest while waiting and busses go all over the city. you may even find that with the old fashioned ones which you just hop on and off at the back it could be easier to get closer to your destination.
 
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Dec 7th, 2001, 05:40 AM
  #9
micia
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Martha: I would say to take a cab also.
I was there last year with a baby and found stairs everywhere, that turned our vacation in to a job.
There were some escalators, but most of them were not working, I was told by the underground travel site beforehand which stations had elevators and which had escalators, but it did not work out that way when we were actually there.
We found at the end of our trip, that it would have been much easier and convient to take a cab.
We were in 3 plus baby, and it did not cost much.
It would have been much cheaper than us having bought the underground tickets.
 
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Dec 7th, 2001, 06:22 AM
  #10
Pearce
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There have been several comments that cabs wouldn't be too expensive. Just how much would they be? I'm not even accustomed to how much cabs would be in the US, never-the-less in London.
 
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Dec 7th, 2001, 07:49 AM
  #11
Lori
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Martha,
Try and use the buses, you can get just about everyplace and see more while doing it. I had foot problems on our last trip to London and while we normally do the tube we took buses much more this time and it was actually easier in many ways, certainly a lot less walking. They can be slower then the tube, but since you are seeing the sights at the same time it is not a problem we found. Avoid at all costs the tube station called Monument - you have to walk for miles down there
Incidentally for the 3 of you consider a car/driver pick up service to pick you up & return to a/p. We've used www.london-transfers.com (Ray Skinner). His service is great and we have used several different companies in the past. I've recommended him several times on this Forum and others have found his company really worthwhile too. It would be cheaper and much more convenient for 3 of you to do this then to worry about trains etc. into your hotel. It's a set fee, plus tip. Have a great time.
 
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Dec 7th, 2001, 07:58 AM
  #12
Julie
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Another vote for not taking the tube if you're planning on relying on elevators and escalators always working or being available. Yes, for the most part, stations have them and when they work they're fabulous. But I found that a lot of times due to construction etc. that sometimes the escalators were out of service and then everyone used them as stairs...and that can involve some very steep climbs. If you're even the least bit concerned, take the buses, they're a marvelous way to see London. And of course, as other people have mentioned, there are cabs.
 
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Dec 7th, 2001, 08:11 AM
  #13
Marion
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Personally my vote is for cabs but sometimes the tube does make more sense. HOWEVER bear in mind that you are NOT guaranteed a seat and fellow travellers no longer show great consideration in giving up their seats. If it's during the day then you're probably OK then.
 
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Dec 7th, 2001, 06:11 PM
  #14
Martha
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I have been intimidated by learning bus routes in London in the past (since the tube is so easy), but I might consider using busses based on your comments. I have found the cabs to be expensive in the past, but with additional people I think you are right - that it may be worthwhile on some trips.

Thanks again.
Martha
 
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Dec 8th, 2001, 01:59 AM
  #15
amy
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martha,

i can understand your concern about learning the busses. after living here for 9 months now, i finally feel i know them fairly well. i would be happy to help you plan some of your routes if you let me know where you are staying (area, street) and some of the major places you'd like to go. i live in central london-so know the popular 'tourist' routes pretty well and perhaps just knowing some of the bus numbers would take the edge off. you can do it and furthermore, bus conductors are usually quite helpful and i've even had them give me a free ride once they knew that i was trying to figure it all out.
 
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