Cabs for everyone in the UK by law

Are you considering visiting London, maybe for a short or long weekend, in these months? Important news is coming, about accessibility for all and, particularly, for those using a wheelchair: starting from April 6th 2017, a new law will enter into force. It was announced last month by the Transport Minister Andrew Jones and ensures free access to cabs for everyone, including people using a wheelchair, who, so far, have been forced to request specifically equipped cabs, with additional costs, apart from the standard route fare. Drivers who won’t comply with this law and refuse to accept travellers on wheelchair or apply an extra-fare or won’t provide the passengers with a proper assistance, will be subjected to very grave sanctions: fines ‘til 1,000 £ and the license suspension or, in extreme cases, its revocation.

London cabs

It’s not insignificant news, that will involve all the UK, where cabs aren’t only a real institution, but also convenient means of transport (mainly if we compare their fares to the Italian ones…), thanks to the competition among the companies delivering the service. But it’s another sign of attention to accessibility and equal opportunities, as regards the access to public transport, in a country which is very advanced already, in this field.

The deep meaning of this law clearly shines through what Minister Jones said, during its official announcement:

 “We want to create a country for all, including people with disability. We must ensure them the same access to services and the same opportunities as anyone else, also when it comes to traveling. Those who use wheelchairs very often use cabs and rental cars and this change to the law will result in a more fair and equal treatment for everyone”.

We hope it won’t remain an isolated case and other countries will follow the UK’s example!

 

London: a “cool” and accessible city

Are you thinking to spend the New Year’s Eve or one of the upcoming long weekends abroad, maybe in a European capital city? If you haven’t been there yet (but even if you want to get back there!), what about to pop over London, before you need a passport again to visit it, once Brexit will enter into force?

London - The Big Ben

The Big Ben

After all, there’s plenty of reasons to do that: should you be keen on music or arts, or interested in soccer, or in cultural tourism, or, again, you simply love shopping, London is the right place for you! The English capital city has a wide range of opportunities, attractions, itineraries, for all tastes, all ages and all budgets (even though it’s still one of the most expensive cities in the world). And, not a bad thing indeed, it’s increasingly accessible also for who has a reduced mobility.

London - Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus

London - Harrods

Harrods

Attention to all travellers’ needs is clear from when you get at the most important airports and railway stations of the city, all equipped with ramps, elevators, bathrooms and areas reserved to disabled travellers. But even when we consider the city public transport -luckily- things are essentially the same. All the subway stations have entrances reserved to travellers on a wheelchair, many are even totally stairs-free (for instance, Kings Cross, Wembley Park, London Bridge). Also the legendary double-decker buses are equipped to host wheelchairs (that can hop on thanks to the ramps) and, in the overwhelming majority, have lowered access platforms for people with motoric issues. There’s an increasing number of subway stations equipped with tactile paths and stops, ticket offices, buses and cabs equipped with magnetic induction audio systems, for deaf people. Even the legendary cabs are equipped to host passengers on a wheelchair. Furthermore, there’s a very well curated website, where you can find constantly updated info about the accessibility of the city transport network, not just as regards the disabled people needs, but also for pregnant women or little children.

London - Madame Tussaud

Madame Tussaud

And what about touristic attractions? Even in this case, you’re spoilt for choice among so many accessible solutions: Buckingham Palace, the London Tower, the London Eye, the Aquarium, the Tate Modern Gallery, Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, and the list goes on. Do you want to play it safe and get rid of all doubts about the accessibility of the attractions you’re more interested in? If your English is quite good, on this website (and on the app) you’ll find detailed info about the accessibility of a lot of touristic attractions, hotels, museum, restaurants, shops, parks, etc. You’ll also have the chance to create your customized itinerary, searching for the destinations that fit best for your specific disability or need.

So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy your trip!