Although the boats were purpose built for passenger use on the River Thames, the design and facilities of these historic boats does not favour modern disabled requirements.
All of the vessels are restricted in terms of disabled access, and it is not possible to board a motorised wheelchair.
A lightweight non -motorised chair may be boarded if the wheelchair user is able to leave the chair and step on board with assistance of the crew. The chair can then be lifted on board to allow use on board. The crew are more than happy to move seating to allow the wheelchair user the preferred seating location.
Access to toilet facilities varies from vessel to vessel, but in all cases is not accessible to wheelchairs, and requires mobility for use.
Access to lower and upper decks is not possible for wheelchairs, as varying levels of steps access these decks.
Crews on all boats will always do their utmost to facilitate the needs and requirement of any passengers that require extra assistance in any way
DISABLED ACCESS TO PIERS
The pier is accessible from the tube station and
from Victoria Embankment by a ramp that can
be used by a wheelchair, however at low tide the
gradientof the ramp can be very steep and would
be far greater than would be acceptable to
most wheelchair ramp guidance regulations.
The pier is accessible from the riverbank by a ramp that can
be used by a wheelchair, however at low tide the gradient of
the ramp would be far greater than would normally be
acceptable to most wheelchair ramp guidance regulations.
The variance of tides and continued silting of the river around Kew can have detrimental effect on water levels. In all cases access from the pier to the boats requires a step
RICHMOND LANDING STAGE
The pier itself is accessed from the towpath by a very low step
and as such can be accessed by practically all levels of ability,
however boarding of boats is subject to tidal variations, and is
by way of a series of steps, the number of which vary greatly
subject to the tide, and embarking/disembarking is onto the
nearest available step. A s such wheelchair access is not
possible unless the passenger can negotiate the steps, and the wheelchair can be carried on board
HAMPTON COURT LANDING STAGE
The pier is currently only accessible by steep steps, which would impossible to negotiate in a wheelchair, and would prove extremely difficult for anybody with mobility issues
The Cockney Sparrow was built in 1976 at Eel Pie Island. She is a two level boat with a deceptively large enclosed saloon and an open top deck.
M.V Connaught was built by Salter Brothers of Oxford in 1911 & has been cruising between Westminster, Kew, Richmond & Hampton Court for over 100 years. Connaught regularly operates on our services & is also available for private charters.
Princess Freda was built in 1926 by T.C. Letcher on the Isle of Wight, and has been restored to a particularly high standard.