UK train companies offer a range of services to help disabled passengers and those who need assistance. Assistance can usually be arranged for train operating staff to meet you at your departure station, accompany you to the train and see you safely on board. Similar arrangements can be made at your destination station and other stations if you need to change trains. For example, ramps can be provided for wheelchair users.
- Train operating companies are better able to help you if you contact them as far in advance of your journey as possible. Please try to give at least 24 hours' notice of your journey. If you do not give the train companies notice, they will try to help but cannot guarantee to provide their normal level of service.
- A Dedicated Disabled Persons Railcard website is available with useful information. click here to visit
- Dogs for the blind are welcome on all trains in the UK
- Help boarding trains is also offered to those who are elderly
- Maps showing which stations have access to platforms for passengers with reduced mobility without the use of steps can be found by clicking here
Mobility Scooters and Buggies
- Train companies welcome disabled passengers and accommodate mobility scooters powered by sealed batteries where possible. Unfortunately, not every scooter can be taken on every train and because the dimensions of the train interiors differ, no simple solution is offered for every train company. The term "scooter" refers to a vehicle with a steering column; if your vehicle has a joystick and small front wheels that swivel 360 degrees, this is a powered wheelchair and not a scooter. You can check the policy of individual train companies here
- Scooters which have three wheels, or those four wheeled scooters which have the front two wheels very close together can manoeuvre into tighter spaces than those which have four wheels like a car (pavement vehicles). Many trains can accommodate manual and powered wheelchairs up to a maximum width of 670mm and 1200mm long (including footplates). However if you have a larger wheelchair, you should check with the relevant train company whether you will be able to access the trains.
- The loaded weight of a scooter should not be more than 230kg/36.2stone. This is the weight that the ramps can safely take.
When planned or short notice engineering works take place to enable work to be carried out on the track and signals that require trains to be replaced by buses or coaches, or during severe disruptions, train companies will try to hire vehicles that comply with accessibility regulations so that people can still make their journeys. However, Railway companies are not always able to guarantee that rail replacement road transport will be able to accommodate scooters. Therefore, before you intend to travel it is advisable to check with the train company concerned whether there is any planned engineering work. Service disruptions on the National Rail Network can be checked here
As in any environment in which people can come and go as they please, for everyone's safety, we ask you to follow these rules:
- Lower the speed of your scooter to a brisk walking pace, ensure you stay clear of the platform edge until the train has come to a complete stand at the station and follow staff instructions at all times.
- Unload any bags/shopping etc. from the scooter, as this can cause the scooter to tip when going up/down ramps;
- If you have a folding scooter, ensure that you are able to carry it without staff assistance when boarding and alighting from trains. Staff may not be available to help at many locations and many stations have limited level access. Please make enquiries with the relevant train company before travelling;
- Before making any journey for the first time, contact the relevant train company to check what is possible on your chosen route.
Please Note: Train company policies may change as more risk assessments are carried out. As the prime concern is safety, changes can occur without prior notice. Please contact your respective train company for further information.
Arranging Assisted Travel
- You will need to contact the train company you are travelling with at least 24 hours before your journey
- If your journey involves travel with several different train companies, you should contact the first company you are travelling with who will be able to make the necessary arrangements for the rest of the journey.
- When you get to the station, identify yourself to a member of staff and let them know that assisted travel has been booked