Leaving the house with your little one and everything everyone will need for the day, as well as those “just incase” items can seem a little tricky. Add in the extra hussle and bussle of the city, plus the extra challenges public transport brings, it can feel like mission impossible to travel round London with a pushchair. But we, along with TFL, want to help make public transport easy to use for mums-to-be and parents travelling with pushchairs. Here are a few of our top tips and useful resources to make journeys on the cities public transport a little easier.
Making travelling round London easier
If you're travelling in London with a buggy, we want to make public transport easy for you to use. There are certain things to look out for and some useful hints and tips that will make travelling with little ones that little bit easier.
When using buggies on public transport it’s important to always make sure your child is securely fastened and your brake is on at all times when you are stationary. Never leave your buggy unattended.
If you are travelling by Tube these tips will help make any journey that little bit easier:
- Use the lift if one is available. This will help you travel from platform to platform and in and out of the Tube easier.
- If there is no lift, take extra care on escalators and always stick to the right of the escalators to avoid blocking the path of others.
- Don't rush, particularly if the doors are already starting to close. The next Tube won’t be far behind!
- Be careful if there is a step up or down into the train. Ask others for help if you are struggling to get off or on the Tube safely with your pushchair.
- Watch out for the thin grooves in the door runners on some trains especially if the wheels on your pushchair are thin.
All London bus routes are served by low-floor, wheelchair-accessible buses to help access. This means you can board any bus with a pushchair with very little struggle, unless the driver thinks that it is too crowded for you to travel safely.
On buses, the driver can lower the bus for you, so it's level with the kerb making it easier for you to push your pushchair onto the bus. Drivers should make sure passengers have time to position their buggy safely and apply the break, and hold on or sit down before moving away.
Fold the buggy up if it's too wide to fit through the doors and down the aisle.
If you're using a double buggy, feel free to get on the bus at the back exit doors, but remember to check with the driver first.
For safety reasons and general passenger comfort, move your buggy out of the middle aisle.
All buses have a wheelchair space available. By law, wheelchair users have priority over the space as it is the only place they can travel safely. When a wheelchair user is not using the space, you can use it on a first come first served basis.
If a wheelchair user wishes to board a bus, you should share the space, fold your buggy or move. You will not be asked to leave the bus, but you may choose to do so. If you wish to board the next bus instead, the driver will issue you a transfer ticket so you don't need to pay a double fare.
On Tube and rail
Most Tube trains have multipurpose areas suitable for buggies, except the Central, Waterloo & City and Bakerloo lines. Many also have wheelchair spaces - feel free to use them if they're available but please give them up if they're needed by a wheelchair user.
Many stations have step-free access. Always make use of lifts where available. Use the Step-free guide to see all stations where you can get between the platform and street step-free, or change between lines step-free.
At stations, some staff may be willing to help carrying buggies up and down stairs, although they are not always able to do so. They will ask you to carry your child and fold your buggy.
Use a help point to contact staff for information and assistance, or in an emergency.
All taxis have an intermediate step and a ramp to make it easier for you to get in and out with a buggy. We recommend asking your driver if you need this.
BABYZEN have made it even easier with their sponsorship with TFL’s Baby on Board Badge.
The badge, welcomed by mums-to-be, encourages passengers to help make pregnant women feel more comfortable when they are travelling by offering them a seat. The badges have become a familiar sight on the transport network.
Expectant mothers can get their Baby on Board Badge free by odering on the TfL’s website, www.tfl.gov.uk, or by asking station staff across the network.
Audrey Mizrahi, owner of Whitestep, BABYZEN UK distributor said: “We wanted to extend our support to mums-to-be beyond our innovative YOYO+ stroller, the first stroller accepted as cabin luggage on board of planes. This partnership is a great way of doing that as it helps parents to embrace the ease of travel with children, and encourages them to continue active lifestyles throughout parenthood, without the worry of travel limitations.”