london access birds

The London Marathon: Access all areas

Last updated on October 18th, 2019 at 11:29 am

This Sunday 26th April marks the 35th year for The London Marathon and we will all be expecting a great performance from one of the country’s largest sporting events. Here at The Ramp People, we understand that a lot of care and organisation goes into planning an event like this.

Mobility and user access will be at the forefront of the sponsors’ mind; especially those in need of wheelchair access whether they are spectating or participating in the race.  Keeping the crowds and runners happy is not just about wire fences and hot dog vans;  modular wheelchair ramps , speed bumps and cable protectors will all need to be prepared well in advance to make sure the race and its participants stay safe.

The best para-athletes among fellow wheelchair riders will be there and all will be going for gold. Last April we saw wheelchair athletes David Weir and Marcel Hug go head to head London’s largest Marathon and this year it seems we are all set for a thrilling re-match. What a privilege to be able to watch such a magnificent occasion across London but without secure equipment like access platforms or rubber matting none of it would be possible.

The Ramp People have prepared some Frequently Asked Questions about disabled access for The London Marathon which you can read below;

Where should you watch for disabled access?  

If you want to follow your loved ones and try to get a glimpse of them as they pass, we suggest that you avoid very crowded areas where it can be difficult to find a viewing spot, it can get very hard to move around and without threshold ramps on hand it could make it difficult to get in and out of the crowds.  

The Marathon first goes through East London, then winds through Central London and finishes in Westminster, near Buckingham Palace. Busy areas include Greenwich town centre and The Cutty Sark. While the ship is undoubtedly a beautiful backdrop for the race, the crowds that are attracted there can make spectating uncomfortable and transport in and around Greenwich becomes particularly busy.

For the best wheelchair access we would suggest that disabled spectators watch the race on The Highway in Tower Hamlets. The race passes along this road twice, the first time between miles 13 and 14 and the second time between miles 21 and 22.

Is there parking for wheelchair users?

The Marathon has a free and dedicated parking area in the playground of the Bishop Challoner School for wheelchair users.  Access to the school is via Commercial Road and Steels Lane. From the car park it is a level walk of approximately 300 meters via Glamis Road to The Highway.

 At Glamis Road there is a subway under The Highway with access ramps on both sides, which enables good viewing on both sides of the Marathon route.

What time should you arrive?

We would suggest potential spectators aim to arrive early to get a good viewing position. The Highway will close to traffic at 08:00 am and the area will be very busy with spectators from at least 09:30 am

What time do the races start?

  • 09:00 The Virgin Money London Wheelchair Marathon for Men & Women – Blue start
  • 09:05 IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup – Blue Start
  • 09:20 The Virgin Money London Marathon Elite Women – Blue Start
  • 10:10 The Virgin Money London Marathon Elite Men, British Athletics, England Athletics Championship for Men & Women – Blue Start
  • 10:10 The Virgin Money London Marathon Mass start – Blue, Green and Red Starts


The Ramp People will be watching this fantastic performance from home, will you be at the site? You may want to cheer on our finest athletes, go and support a loved one, or simply go for the energy of watching thousands of people pushing themselves to their limits; either way this will be one of the biggest, most inspiring celebrations of sport in the UK for abled or disabled citizens and we have no doubt it will run smoothly.

Comments are closed.