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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. New user, first post.

I'm an Australian, may be moving to London in the next 12 months so I'm on a fact-finding mission. Recently visited for a holiday, hence my queries.

I have bad knees - hard to get up and down stairs (in houses and on the Tube) and standing to commute is not ideal. My ideal accommodation would be single-level and, as I have a family (4 people), would want to live in a house, not an apartment.

So can anyone provide some helpful info:

- Where do people with kids typically live with good commuting access to City of London and good schools?
- Is there much single-level accommodation?
- It seemed that most Tube stations had very limited disabled access. Is this the case? Do certain stations have lifts instead of stairs?
- Inside peak hour, any possibility of getting a seat on the train? Are there commuter services with reserved seats?

Hope you can assist! May sound like a strange query but knee pain is a powerful disincentive not to move!!
 

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I have only been in London for 6 months but Transport for London seems to be very good at providing info on what type of access each station has and their journey planner has an option to look for routes with specific access needs...

https://tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/?&date=20150707&timeIs=departing&time=0915#more-options

I suspect type of housing and seating availability for your commute is highly dependent on where in London you will live and work.
 

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I believe I read this on a tube train that 25% of tubes stations are step free. Many are not amenable to being made step free (handicapped accessible) as there are lots of short staircases up and down and around, and the footprint of the stations below ground are surprisingly large. You can walk a long way from the entrance to the train. It's unrealistic to expect you'll get a seat on the tube during rush hour as the trains are just too crowded.

Your best bet will be the buses. If you have a cane, you may find it easier to get the handicapped designated seats without raising eyebrows. It might be better to carry a cane even if you don't strictly need one to avoid negative commentary.

As far as housing goes, have a look at properties on rightmove.co.uk to get an idea about what things look like. A flat may be a better choice than a house as it would be most likely to be one level and possibly could be in a building with a lift. A lot depends on where you would like to live and how much you can afford to pay.

Housing stock in London looks different to what's here in Boston, I assume it's different to Australia. I heard recently that most people in the Melbourne area live in the suburbs. That's not so true in London as transport is both expensive and time consuming. It would be ideal to live as close to where work is as possible.

I know from the conversations of others that finding good schools is a real challenge. There's not enough capacity, and even if you live in the catchment area, your child might still not get a place. Is private (fee paying) school a possibility?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for replies!

Thank you all for some good advice and interesting suggestions!! It gives a lot of food for thought. Especially appreciate the link to the journey planner for public transport.
 

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Oddly enough I would suggest a longer commute is better than a short one and you are much more likely to get a single floor (bungalow) house a bit further out of London. Essex is a great county if you go far enough out and getting on the train at, for example, Colchester in the morning you are going to get a seat. (53 minutes commute to Liverpool Street mainline). I don't know how old your kids are, but if they are bright, Colchester has one of the best state schools in the country.
 
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