DLR line, Limehouse, Elizabeth line and accessible London

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I travel into London from Upminster, on the c2c, and often end up in Fenchurch street, from where I will take a bus across London. The front entrance of Fenchurch street station has lifts, escalators and a toilet. All are very good, and very accessible.

Upminster station, on the c2c, has lifts, ramps for those in wheelchairs onto the train, and toilets. All good. You can also get the district line from here, and the closest accessible station on the district line is at Elm Park.

The c2c line travels via Barking, West Ham, and Limehouse. West Ham, and Limehouse stations have lifts or step free routes onto the DLR, most of which is highly accessible. Avoid Bank station, it is currently a death trap for those with accessible issues. I also tend to avoid Barking, as there are some accessible routes here via long walks, and ramps etc.

Limehouse is an interesting station. It has access to the DLR and also the c2c line. TFL appear to be upgrading the station, and a lift is being installed. It is also an excellent station for gaining access to the new Crossrail (Elizabeth line) which starts eventually on 24th May 2022. How?

Well, I have it on good authority that the first section of the Crossrail runs from Abbey Wood, via Canary Wharf, Farringdon, Tottenham court road to Paddington. (I have been told that Bond street is not yet open). I also believe the section from Brentwood (Shenfield) stops at Liverpool street. I don’t think anyone really knows which parts are opening.

At Limehouse, I can exit the c2c at Limehouse. You will need to get off this train by ramp if you are in a wheelchair or similar. You can access the DLR platforms by crossing through the barriers at the London end of the train, down a very short ramp to the DLR platform. To get from Limehouse to Canary wharf on the DLR is just two stops (heading towards Lewisham), and then exit the DLR to one of the highly accessible Crossrail trains towards Paddington (or Abbey Wood).

Actually, it is a bit more walking than that, as I found out the other day. I have visited Canary wharf, which appears very accessible, although I only found the escalators. The DLR is on one of the higher floors, and you just need to travel to get to the lower levels, and walk through the very tasteful shopping centre. At Canary wharf are all three accessible lines, the DLR, Jubilee and the new Elizabeth line will also open very soon.

Canary wharf mapping from in front of the Elizabeth line showing the DLR and Jubilee stations in May 2022
Canary wharf mapping from in front of the Elizabeth line showing the DLR and Jubilee stations in May 2022

I had another go at accessing the new Elizabeth line today. I thought I would try via Shadwell, and then into Whitechapel. It looks the obvious choice from looking at maps.

I arrived this morning at Limehouse, and headed towards the DLR. It appeared the lift was not working, and I ended up catching the DLR in the opposite direction towards Woolwich, and Beckton. I swapped lines at Canning Town to Beckton, and headed for the Custom House Excel station.

I was very impressed with Custom House which is another of the Elizabeth Line stations which is about to open. It is all in one place, the entrance to the Excel centre, the DLR line, and the Elizabeth Line station. And very accessible, in every way imaginable.

If you are totally accessible needy (in a wheelchair), it maybe worth taking this diversion to get the level of accessible access which has clearly been thought through.

[I will add some pictures later]

I next headed back from Custom House towards Tower Gateway, and Shadwell. Shadwell is on the DLR and also the London Overground routes. It is only one stop away from Whitechapel, and the Elizabeth Line station, but I have to say it needs a major redevelop.

I took the lift down to the London Overground route, and then had to walk more stairs down to the London Overground route, towards Whitechapel Elizabeth Line station. Shadwell is OK if you are OK with walking, and climbing a few stairs.

There is also a lot of useful info on Ianvisits site. I think my detail is also pretty good.

If you are travelling on the c2c towards London, and exit at Limehouse, you need to either exit via the stairs or enter the DLR station on the same level, and exit via a small lift, to Commercial road.

If you take a walk around the station at Limehouse, it is very clearly stated that there are cameras watching you. At Commercial road, whilst standing there once, i was visited by a youth on a cycle, asking me whether I was waiting for a specific? Drugs ?

If you do exit the station here, a short walk away from London on the Commercial road, brings you to steps leading down to the Regents canal, and Limehouse dock. It is not an easy trip on a wheelchair, but there may be a route somewhere.

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