Heathrow to St. Pancras -- Mobility Issues
Replies: 25 - Last Post: Feb 9, 2013 2:38 PM Last Post By: Troo
Feb 4, 2013 3:25 PM
Heathrow to St. Pancras -- Mobility IssuesI'll be traveling with someone who, while not disabled or wheelchair-bound, has occasional serious pain while walking. So I am looking for more detailed information than usual. I did a search here first, and my issue was not addressed, hence this query.
Things work best for my partner if there are no stairs or escalators involved. It's much better if there are lifts, and "no step" access to and from trains. Really busy streets are tough too, because he might not get across in time, especially after a long flight from San Francisco to London. We are arriving at Heathrow at about 1:30 in the afternoon, and staying at the renovated Midland Grand (now the St. Pancras Renaissance) at St. Pancras. I have three basic questions:
1. Is the access to the Heathrow Express train to King's Cross "step free" throughout? The symbols on all the maps indicate that it is, but my experience in the U.K. and Europe is that, owing to the age of the cities, there are often steps involved. So I am double-checking.
2. King's Cross to St. Pancras is, I realize, just across St. Pancras street. For me, a simple deal. For my partner, not so simple. I am presuming that egress from the Heathrow train is step-free, because that's what the map symbols say. And the station itself has lifts. But I don't know whether King's Cross is internally connected (via a tunnel/subway, for example) to St. Pancras, and if so, whether there are stairs or escalators involved. If not, then what's it like to cross the St. Pancras Street between King's Cross and St. Pancras? Again, I realize how ridiculous the query might sound, but not so ridiculous to someone essentially held together by some surgical miracles.
3. What about just taking a taxi or shuttle of some sort in from Heathrow? How much do those cost?
Any help would be greatly appreciated, and definitely remembered the next time any of you wander into the U.S. travel branch with a question. I'm a prolific contributor there, maybe the most prolific over time. Happy to help with any questions. As for the ones I've just asked, the ideal answers would come from people who have actually done this with a physically challenged individual, or who are otherwise quite familiar with the niggling little details that most people don't have to think about. Thanks much in advance.
Feb 4, 2013 9:55 PM
1A taxi would cost around £45 if you pre book. Getting a black cab from heathrow will cost a lot more, I've found a quote saying it would be around £65.
Regarding step free access, I don't know, but in my experience, the symbols are accurate (unless the lift isn't working that day, not something that can be planned for).
Feb 4, 2013 10:19 PM
21) http://www.tfl.gov.uk has a route planner that provides for mobility search requirements - click on more options to build in his mobility situation as it has multiple choices. However, a taxi may make more sense given there's 2 of you - it's pricier, but not that much slower and it is extremely convenient, especially if lugging luggage around.
2) See #1
3) See #1 Legit suppliers listed on heathrow's website are available here: http://www.heathrowairport.com/transport-and-directions/taxis
Feb 5, 2013 2:27 AM
3Well Kings X is a new station so I assume it has step free access from the Circle H&C platforms. The trouble is does Paddington have step free. They are rebuilding the H&C now so not sure. Even if the District/Circle platforms have step free you have to change at Edgware Rd. Depends which platform the train goes into whether it is step free or not.
Might be worth checking if the Piccadilly at Kings X has step free to ground level.
Feb 5, 2013 2:37 AM
4The Heathrow Express goes to Paddington not Kings Cross. It is the underground Piccadilly Line that goes from the airport to Kings Cross. There is no way that I would use the line with someone who had mobility problems. It is usually overcrowded and people tend not to be aware of people with limited mobility. My mother who found it hard to walk always used a prebooked cab and that is in my view by far the best way. I assume that you are asking the airline to organse a wheelchair.
Also it is quite a long way from Kings Cross to the entrance of the Hotel and there is a small hill involved so it is not simply a question of crossing the road.
And welcome to London.
Feb 5, 2013 2:49 AM
5Just to follow up on the Piccadilly Line. If you and your friend had just flown from San Fransisco would there be such an issue with the tube. You are arriving early afternoon and at Heathrow you can will get a seat. The only question is is it step free at Kings X
Feb 5, 2013 3:00 AM
6The Heathrow Express is fully accessible, but it goes from Heathrow to Paddington. There is NO step free access at Paddington to the Hammersmith and City line direct to Kings Cross/St Pancras.
Despite what #4 says, I don't think it would be difficult to take the Picadilly line all the way from Heathrow to Kings Cross/St Pancras. Overcrowding should not be a problem because you will join at the first station. I am not familiar with the lift layout at Heathrow, but the TFL maps say that there is lift access, so there will be.
Kings Cross/St Pancras underground station is recently renovated and they installed lifts accessing all platforms (which was actually a pretty impressive and very expensive engineering feat). You can go directly from the underground platforms to St Pancras station concourse through underground tunnels without having to cross any streets.
Feb 5, 2013 3:06 AM
Feb 5, 2013 3:15 AM
Feb 5, 2013 3:18 AM
Feb 5, 2013 3:56 AM
Feb 5, 2013 5:51 AM
Feb 5, 2013 5:53 AM
12Not sure I understand your point. Do they mean train to Edgware Rd or walk? I am not sure of the arrangement there. Paddington and Edgware Rd are not step free. You can only do step free interchange eastbound at Edgware Road if the train is on the adjacent platform. Not sure if these are terminating circle or terminating District Line trains.
Feb 5, 2013 6:04 AM
13This is all well and good but as a former worker with disabled people the problem encountered is that in crowds the disabled people are liable to get knocked over. It really is as simple as that. It is generally safer in a wheelchair as people can see it. If someone is moving slowly and has problems with balance they are likely to get shoved out of the way. A while ago when recovering from an operation I experienced just this behaviour.
Anyway my New Year's resolution is not to argue with people and I know with what passion the subject of getting from Heathrow into central London is debated here.
Feb 5, 2013 6:35 AM
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