London, United Kingdom
Share on social media
London is a world tourist destination. The city has a mix of old and new infrastructure. This presents a challenge that all historic cities face when addressing accessibility, investing in changes while maintaining a ‘sense of place’ and identity.
Photo: "London from a hot air balloon" by Daniel Chapma - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons
London has a policy of inclusive design for the benefit of both residents and visitors to ensure that as many as possible can enjoy the city. New build can incorporate accessibility from the outset, however it becomes more costly to change a public realm, much of which was developed in the nineteenth century. This requires long term investment, which London has made and continues to make, as it undertakes a programme of change that takes it into the future. The Mayor of London champions accessibility and supports changes through a framework of policy and strategy that the Greater London Authority has developed.
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games proved a catalyst for some accelerated change and investment to make London more accessible, with the eyes of the world watching. This brought many benefits for the provision across the supply chain with improvement in: information, the public realm, transport and accommodation. This has provided a legacy that London can build upon.
Disabled people believe that overall there is better accessibility in the supply chain and the visitor experience in London. They also believe though that more still needs to done, as London has not yet reached its goal of being fully accessible.
Information about accessibility needs to be collated and marketed better. Improving the basic facilities like wheelchair access and accessible toilets have to be pushed harder. The transport programme continues to make more of the old tube system accessible. More needs to be done to ensure that London's Boroughs work more closely together to ensure a more homogenous public realm. There also needs to be greater engagement with small and medium enterprises to ensure they improve their accessibility.
There is also a requirement for getting disabled people to work with organisations, not just to help get it right but to lose historical mistrust and doubt about the next 'accessibility solution'.
Download the London Accessible Tourism Case Study in PDF format, produced by ENAT and Partners for the European Commission (2015).