Step-free access?

From 21 August 2016

On the Sunday afternoon we left our hotel in Levallois and used the Metro to get to Paris Gare du Nord and hence by Eurostar to London and Harold Wood.

The first bit was easy; a 10 minute walk trundling our cases included a couple of pedestrianised streets, including one where the Sunday market was almost cleared up. Paris Metro stations are not the easiest places for people with luggage – I’ll write another posting about that later. I reckon we had to manoeuvre our bags through one ticket gate and down about 30 steps (in several flights) to reach the platform.

Once on the metro train, things really started looking up. We changed at Reamur-Sebastipol and had done a recce. We knew that the change there involved 24 steps up, followed immediately by 6 steps down, thereafter to home there were only 3 fixed steps (in Liverpool St underground station) until we reached our doorstep in Harold Wood.  In Gare du Nord metro we used two escalators followed by a lift to the Eurostar reception. Boarding the train involved a travolator down to the platform. Several steps into the train were a bit challenging, but getting down in St Pancras was less so – different platform height. Inside the Eurostar section at St Pancras were ramped travolators again. Once in the open areas of the station, the Metropolitan-Circle line platforms were reached by a combination of two lifts. The Met-Circle trains now have floors level with the platform. At Liverpool St. there were the unavoidable 3 steps, but we used the lift from the Underground concourse to the Main Line ticket office, leaving only lifting the bags on and off the Greater Anglian train.

There had, of course, been gates (2) at Gare du Nord, at Kings Cross-St.Pancras, Liverpool St (2) and Harold Wood, but I know how to deal with them.

And thanks are due to the young man at Harold Wood station, who seeing me unload my bag from the train, offered me help. I hope that I declined gracefully, as I was then within easy trundling distance of home!

 

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