Planning Your Visit
Changes to Step Free Access until October 2017
Our usual lift for step free access is being serviced until the end of October. Alternative lifts are available and we have highlighted the various dimensions below to help you plan your visit:
Door Width Depth Width Inside
Lift 10 90cm 136cm 115cm
Lift 96 80cm 144cm 148cm
Lift 1 105cm 120cm 160cm
Our usual lift requires essential maintenance, without which we would be at risk of it not being operational for a longer period of time. If you would like to discuss your individual requirements please call the Visit Parliament team on 020 7219 4114.
Our access statement ( PDF 2.22 MB) is available in a variety of formats, for large print please call 020 7219 2144.
The House of Commons is accredited with Action on Hearing Loss’s ‘Louder than Words Charter Mark’. This is a nationally-recognised accreditation for organisations striving to offer excellent levels of service and accessibility for customers and employees who are deaf or have hearing loss.
The House of Commons participates in the Business Disability Forums ‘Disability Standard’ a tool to help business to measure and improve on performance for disabled customers, clients or service users, employees and stakeholders.
We are committed to promoting equality and improving accessibility to everybody, across each of the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010. Part of this commitment is ensuring that our buildings are accessible to visitors with autism and that our staff have been trained to welcome them.
We have produced a video ‘How to access the Houses of Parliament’ which includes a welcome from Tanni, Baroness Grey-Thompson and five other chapters. The video can be viewed all the way through (15 minutes) or by individual chapter, and with the option of subtitles or signed in British Sign Language.
Watch the video in full
Visitor Assistants are on hand both outside and within the Parliamentary Estate to help answer any questions you might have about access. Whether you are visiting for a tour, to watch debates, for an event or for other business reasons, they will be happy to advise and assist you to your destination upon request.
There are a wide variety of public transport options for getting to Parliament including bus, underground, train, taxi, car and river boat.
Alternatively, please visit the Transport for London website.
We have no public parking on site so if you choose to drive you can reserve a parking space in nearby Abingdon Car Park off Great College Street. Reservations can be made in advance using the Q-Park online pre-booking facility. Alternatively, for blue badge holders, there are limited blue badge parking bays situated slightly further away.
To find out more about travelling to the Houses of Parliament, please watch Chapter 2 of the access film Getting Here.
On arrival at the Houses of Parliament you will be directed to pass through airport style security searches. Please note that all our staff have undertaken disability awareness training.
For any concerns you may have about security issues when visiting Parliament, please contact the Serjeant-at-Arms office via the main switchboard: 020 7219 3000. For Text phone: dial 18001 followed by 020 7219 3000.
For more information about entering Parliament please watch Chapter 3 of the access film Getting In.
The public galleries for the House of Commons and House of Lords Chambers are fitted with induction loop systems which will improve audibility for visitors using hearing aids. Hearing aid wearers should depress the T setting on their hearing aids to access the induction loops. For those attending committee meetings of either House, an infra-red system is employed. Visitors attending meetings (private or public) in the Committee Rooms in the House of Commons can pick up an infra-red receiver (neck loop) from the pulpit or reception area outside House of Commons Committee Room 10. If you are attending a meeting in the House of Lords (public or private) you can also obtain a receiver (neck loop) from the House of Lords Attendant’s Office adjacent to House of Lords Committee Room 1. Visitors with hearing aids wishing to access the infra-red system in any Committee Room should depress the T setting on their hearing aids. Portcullis House Committee Rooms are fitted with infra-red systems. Visitors with hearing aids wishing to access the infra-red system must obtain an infra-red receiver (neck loop) from the pulpit outside the Boothroyd Room. For those wishing to attend a meeting/event in Westminster Hall, an induction loop system is fitted and an infra-red system is also fitted with receivers (neck loops) available at the reception area outside committee room 10.
Whatever your reason for visiting Parliament, wheelchairs may be borrowed on arrival but you will need to bring a companion since we cannot provide a member of staff to accompany you throughout your visit. If you are attending a meeting or function by invitation then it is recommended that you contact your host ahead of your visit to discuss access requirements.
For more information about getting around Parliament please see Chapter 4 of the access film Getting Around.
Taking a Tour
All tours are accessible for wheelchair users. Alternative routes and viewing points exist for visitors with large motorised wheelchairs. There are steps at either end of St Stephen's Hall but an alternative route via a lift is available.
There is limited seating available on a tour of the Houses of Parliament. If required, you can book a wheelchair in advance but please also bring a companion to escort you.
A limited number of wheelchairs are available. To book a wheelchair call 020 7219 4114, for Text phone dial 18001 followed by 020 7219 4114 or email Visitor Services.
For visitors with hearing impairments, induction loops and a screen-based version of the audio tour are available at the Information Desk in Westminster Hall. British Sign Language interpreters can be arranged through Action on Hearing Loss for guided tours but as signers are in heavy demand, please provide as much notice as possible.
For UK residents who are blind or partially sighted there is an opportunity to attend one of our tactile tours which must be requested and booked in advance.
Assistance dogs may accompany their owners on tours.
The length and content of a tour can be adjusted to accommodate the specific needs of a group. This should be requested and agreed in advance.
For more information about taking a tour please watch Chapter 5 of the access film Taking a Tour.
Refreshments and Toilet Facilities
The Jubilee Shop and Cafe are located just off Westminster Hall and have step free access via a small self-operated lift. Within this area are the public toilet facilities which can be reached by the same lift if required.
There is a Changing Places facility close to Central Lobby off Lower Waiting Hall. For more information, please visit the Changing Places website (external website).
If visiting Portcullis House, two accessible toilets can be found on the first floor with the dimensions 214cm (deep) x 150cm (wide).
For more information about refreshments and toilet facilities please watch Chapter 6 of the access film Refreshments and Toilet Facilities.