Interesting museum - some really dangerous ramps - beware!
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair
This could so easily have been a five-star review. The museum has tried hard to provide a fully accessible experience, but has failed badly with the indoor ramps. This failure reduces my rating from five stars to two stars.
Transport & Parking
There are no step-free stations nearby except for the DLR part of Bank Station, which allows step-free access from train to street level. Many buses serve the Bank area, and I wouldn't dream of parking in this area. If you are VERY patient you could wait until Bank Underground Station becomes fully accessible in 2021.
At the main entrance there is a sign telling wheelchair users to press a button for assistance - see my picture below. I pressed the button, and after a while a doorkeeper came out to tell me someone would be along soon to take us into the museum via a step-free entrance elsewhere. After a long wait someone did appear, apologised for keeping us waiting, and led us into the museum through some fascinating corridors with beautiful floor mosaic. So far so good. But the temporary ramps installed at several places within the museum are much too short. This means that they are dangerously steep. I had some terrifying experiences on these ramps. My powerchair very nearly tipped over backwards on one of them. They are not fit for purpose. One day someone will have a very serious accident on them. I never want to use them again! I do *not* recommend this museum to wheelchair users.
There is a very well laid-out accessible toilet in a corridor off the circular display at the far end of the museum. Full marks for this.
All staff were friendly and helpful. The member of staff who led us to the step-free entrance also gave us a very informative talk about all sorts of aspects of the museum - five stars for her. But two stars lost overall because the staff have simply not researched or thought through what constitutes a *safe* wheelchair ramp gradient.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
With the dangerous indoor ramps the Bank of England Museum is exposing itself to possible legal difficulties, in the event that someone eventually sustains a very serious accident on one of the ramps. It is imperative that these ramps are replaced as soon as possible by some other solution. The museum has replied to this review stating that "unfortunately [the museum] is in a historic building and there is sadly not enough space for longer ramps" - but there are other viable solutions which are equally non-intrusive and would not harm the fabric of the historic building, so I don't accept this excuse. Meanwhile, visitors in wheelchairs are put at very serious risk of accident and injury.