The London Underground (also known as the Tube or simply the Underground) is a public metro system serving a large part of Greater London and parts of the counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex.
The system serves 270 stations and has 402 kilometres (250 mi) of track, 55 per cent of which is actually above ground.
The network incorporates the world’s first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, opened in 1863 and now part of the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines; and the first line to operate underground electric traction trains, the City & South London Railway in 1890, now part of the Northern line.
The network has expanded to 11 lines, and in 2011/12 it carried over 1 billion passengers. This year London Underground has celebrated 150 years of operations.
Accessibility by people with limited mobility was not considered when most of the system was built, and before 1993 fire regulations prohibited wheelchairs on the underground. The stations on the Jubilee Line Extension, opened in 2000, were designed for accessibility, but retrofitting accessibility features to the older stations is a major investment that is planned to take over twenty years. A 2010 London Assembly Report concluded that over ten per cent of the people of London had reduced mobility, and with an ageing population, numbers will increase in the future.
As of December 2012 there are 66 stations with step-free access from platform to train, and there are plans to provide step-free access at another 28 in ten years. By 2016 a third of stations are to have platform humps that
reduce the step from platform to train. New trains, such as those being introduced on the sub-surface network, have access and room for wheelchairs, improved audio and visual information systems and accessible door controls.
You have several maps and guides for travelling by tube, some of which are: the standard tube map, step-free tube guide, avoiding stairs tube guide and toilet facilities.
For more information about accessible transport by tube please visit TFL’s website.
Tags: Accessability, Greater London, london, tube