London 2012 transport
Getting to the Games
The Olympic Games begins on 27th July and the Paralympic Games closes on 9th September.
Both of these huge events will bring an extra 11 million visitors to the capital and will mean that travelling around London will be more of a challenge than ever before.
The good news is that there is accessible way to get to each and every one of the Olympic venues across London.
Below, you will find information on how to access each of London’s transport services during games time, as well as accessible parking and travelling into London from other areas of the UK.
You will receive a free travelcard with your ticket, valid only for the day of the event you are attending. The cheapest and most hassle free way to do this is to order an Oystercard online and get it sent to your home address with sufficient credit for your entire journey. Try to avoid ticket offices at London stations as these are likely to be very busy.
Key stations will be extremely crowded, with long waiting times, especially if you need to use a lift.
Make sure that you leave in plenty of time, or travel ahead of the peak time if you can.
Stratford, Green Park and London Bridge stations are going to be the worst affected. Avoid these stations at all times if possible.
The organisers of the games have produced a Spectator Journey Planner, which includes estimated journey times, which you can use to plan your trip. You can also download a complete map of all London’s train and tube services including accessible stations.
It might also be useful to veiw the Competition Schedule for an idea of what else is happening on the day of your event.
Inside all of the venues, there will be a Games Mobility Service. They will provide wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and scooters. They can also assist visually impaired visitors to their seats.
Vehicles at all venues can be pre-booked until mid-April. After that, you can request a vehicle when you arrive at the venue on the day, on a first come, first served basis.
To pre-book a Games Mobility vehicle, please call the London 2012 contact centre on 0845 267 2012. They will take your request and will get back to you within seven days to confirm your booking.
Inclusive London have produced access guides to all of the Olympic venues. Click here
If you are have any questions about the accessibility of any stations or would like help planning your journey, please call Transport for All’s helpline: +44 (0)20 7737 2339
Assessible travel information
Trains to London
Without doubt, the quickest way to get to central London form other of the areas of the UK is by train. During the Olympics, there will be an extra 200 trains running across the UK.
However, not all train stations in the UK are accessible. If the station
you wish to travel from is not accessible, the train operating company
(TOC) must provide you with transport from that station to the nearest
View the access and facilities of each station using the National Rail station tool
Once you are on board, most trains have allocated spaces for wheelchairs. These spaces can be booked at the same time as tickets.
To book assistance and your 2012 Games Train Tickets contact the National Rail Games Travel contact centre
Phone: 0844 693 2899 or from overseas +44 1902 627973 or book a ticket online
Use your Disabled or Senior Railcard for a further 1/3 off the ticket price!
Visit the National Rail Accessible Travel page
Coaches to London
Games coach services will be take you directly to
the Olympic Park, ExCeL, and Greenwich Park (30 July only) from
towns all over the UK. All services will be
accessible, although the coaches only have one wheelchair space each. Book your place as soon as possible.
Book Games Coach online
Park and Ride
Park and Ride services will allow visitors to park at various locations outside the M25, and then travel to the venues via a shuttle bus. Each shuttle bus will have at least one wheelchair space and reasonable assistance will be available.
The Park & Ride service is free for holders of a valid UK Blue Badge. This includes parking minibuses for a group of people, as long as a Blue Badge holder is present and the badge displayed. You must book your parking space in advance. Book online or call 0844 921 2012.
Blue Badge parking outside venues
A few Blue Badge Parking spaces
are available at venues for spectators who hold a valid Blue Badge or
recognised national disability permit.
It will not be possible to gain entry to a parking site without a valid booking permit and Blue Badge.
At some venues, spaces will be booked by session and you must ensure you return to your car by the specified departure time.
Book your Blue Badge space online
Roads around the venues are likely to be heavily congested. A Games Lanes road network will be in operation, which can only be used by athletes and officials. Blue Badge holders are not permitted to use these lanes.
Check how long your journey might take by using Tfl’s planning tool and read more information on Travel hotspots.
Olympic Javelin – High speed train to Stratford International
Southeastern Trains operates the Javelin service, which is an accessible train which takes just 6 minutes to get from St.Pancras to Stratford International Station.
The cost of this train is covered by the travelcard all ticket holders receive with their event tickets.
Assistance and wheelchair spaces MUST be booked for this service, and Southeastern are recommending that this is done as soon as possible, as they expect the service to be extremely busy. Call Southeastern assisted travel on 0800 783 4524.
Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
During the Olympics an estimated 2.28million passengers will be using the service – an increase of 57%.
The DLR is a wheelchair accessible railway. The gap between the platform edge and the train is approximately 7.5cm wide and the step up/down from the platform to the train is approximately 5cm.
Many of the DLR stations are unstaffed, although there are staff on all trains who can offer assistance. Extra staff will be working at key DLR stations, and lifts should have a lift attendant to assist lift users and ensure clear routes around the lift area.
Transport for London manage part of London’s suburban rail network, called London Overground.
Click here to see a map of London Overground lines and stations.
During the games, London Overground have committed to providing additional staff and additional ramps and accessible stations.
You can pre-book station assistance at Overground Customer Services on 0845 601 4867. They will also be operating an extended timetable with the last trains running about an hour later than usual.
All Overground trains have audio and visual announcements, a dedicated wheelchair space in each carriage and grab handles by all doors.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://www.nationalrailgamestravel.co.uk/
The Tube is the quickest way to get around London, although many tube stations are not accessible.
There is also a significant gap and step between the trains and many platforms.
Platform humps which provide level access have been installed at several stations, with more due to be fitted before the games.
More staff and additional volunteers will be working at key stations during the Olympics, and there should be staff at most lift landings.
The following 16 Tube stations will have temporary manual boarding ramps in place to enable wheelchair users to overcome the gap between the train and the platform; West Ham (District and Hammersmith & City lines), Fulham Broadway, Wimbledon, Southfields, Earl’s Court (District line), Westminster (District and Circle lines), Stratford (Central line), Woodford, Oxford Circus (Bakerloo line), Queen’s Park, Hammersmith (Hammersmith & City and Circle lines), King’s Cross St. Pancras (Hammersmith & City and Circle lines), Morden, Stockwell (Northern line), Finchley Central and Edgware stations.
Download the step free tube guide which indicates which stations are using ramps
Accessible shuttle buses will be running where step-free routes don’t exist or don’t provide enough capacity.
Confirmed shuttle routes are currently in the Spectator Journey Planner.
London’s bus network is, in theory, accessible. Each bus has a wheelchair space, a ramp for boarding and the driver can lower the bus when necessary. The ibus system (audio visual location announcements), is also a feature on every bus.
The Countdown facility allows passengers are able to look up live bus departures at their closest bus stop via the internet or by a text service.
Issues that disabled people can have include drivers being reluctant to ask non disabled passengers to vacate the wheelchair space. Although wheelchair users have priority in this space, parents with buggies often occupy them and are reluctant to leave. Many drivers also refuse to intervene.
Ramps occasionally malfunction, or obstacles prevent the driver pulling up in the neccessary position to extend the ramps.
During the games, there will an extra 200 buses running along key routes in London.
By March all the bus routes should be included in the Spectator journey planner
However, with many more passengerts than usual using the bus, there is a real chance that overcrowding on certain routes may occur. Wheelchair users in particular should leave extra time to make journeys.
Tramlink is a tram network that runs in South London. Crucially for the Olympics, it runs to Wimbledon.
Wheelchair users travel for free on the Tramlink and access at all tram stops is step free.
View a map of tramlink stations.
For more information on tramlink, click here
Travelling on the Thames can be a really enjoyable way to travel in London, especially in the summer. River boat services will be most used for events in Greenwich.
Many of the River boat services are accessible, and the large boats have accessible toilets. But please check with the operating company before booking. Click here for more information river services.
During the games there will be two types of service and tickets can be booked now.
The Games river bus express, will be a direct journey, while Games river tour services will be a more leisurely journey with a tourist commentary.
See a map of River boat services during the Games
Shuttle services will be provided at many venues to transport spectators from a recommended station to the venue itself. This service will be available for all spectators and does not need to be pre-booked.
At some venues, accessible shuttles capable of providing transport to multiple wheelchair users will be provided solely for spectators with accessibility needs.
Guide Dogs information about travelling to the venues with your guide dog
Transport for London information about transport to the Olympics
Olympic Delivery Authority information to get to the Olympic venues
Spectator Journey Planner
The Olympic Delivery Authority have produced a website about getting around during the Games. They have a ‘how to’ section on using accessible transport in London