Using Mobility Scooters and Public Transport

Navigating the UK’s public transport system with a mobility scooter can be a liberating experience, offering greater freedom and independence. However, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations that apply to mobility scooters on public transport. 

We provide you with the essential information and practical advice you need to travel with confidence across various modes of public transport.

 

Public Transport Accessibility

In recent years, improvements have been made to accessibility across UK public transport for mobility scooter and wheelchair users. Most nationwide public transport operators provide at least some mobility scooter access. 

However, each bus or train operator has its regulations, so we advise you to check with the service provider ahead of time to ensure your scooter complies with their requirements and prevent any travel day mishaps.

 

Bus Travel with a Mobility Scooter

Buses play a vital role in helping people get around. However, there’s no national law requiring bus operators to carry mobility scooters, and individual companies can set their own size and weight restrictions. Class 2 mobility scooters are generally allowed on buses, whereas Class 3 scooters may only be allowed under specific conditions.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) has issued a Code of Practice that gives the following requirements for mobility scooters to travel on a bus safely:

  • The mobility scooter must be Class 2
  • The combined weight of the user and scooter must be less than 300 kg
  • The scooter must be no more than 1000 mm long and 600 mm wide
  • The scooter’s turning radius must be no wider than 1200 mm

Always contact the operator before planning a bus journey to check their specific mobility scooter policies. In some cases, you may need to apply for a mobility scooter permit from the bus company.

Remember that even if your scooter is allowed, the bus must have the appropriate access and space to accommodate it safely. All buses feature a ramp or lift and a designated wheelchair space, but the dimensions of these spaces differ across vehicle types.

 

Train Travel with a Mobility Scooter

Travelling with mobility scooters on trains is possible, but again, there are guidelines to follow. Most modern trains include allocated spaces for wheelchair users that mobility scooters can utilise if they fit safely and securely. Nearly all train stations also have ramps and/or lifts enabling access between the platform and train carriage.  

While most train services will accept Class 2 scooters, Class 3 scooters may be too large for some train carriages. Scooters are usually limited by size rather than weight, as they need to safely turn and manoeuvre down the aisle without obstructing other passengers.

It’s wise to book assistance in advance to ensure staff are available to help you board and leave the train. Train companies may require pre-booking assistance at least 24 hours before your journey. Some operators may also require a ‘Scooter Card’ or similar mobility scooter permit.

 

Tram Travel with a Mobility Scooter

As with other modes of public transport, whether mobility scooters are allowed on trams in the UK depends on the specific tram network and the scooter itself.

General conditions include:

  • Scooter class: Many networks, but not all, only allow Class 2 scooters.
  • Scooter size: Most tram networks allow scooters within the dimensions of a wheelchair space, typically around 1200 mm x 700 mm. Some might have weight limits.
  • Contact beforehand: Always check with the specific tram network you plan to use for their scooter policy, including size restrictions, permit requirements, and designated spaces.
  • Pre-booking: Some networks recommend pre-booking assistance to ensure space availability and support.

Keep in mind that while most modern trams are fully accessible with low-floor boarding, older models might require assistance.

 

Are Mobility Scooters Allowed on Aeroplanes?

For those looking to travel further afield, mobility scooters are generally accommodated on aeroplanes, but with important restrictions based on the scooter size, weight, batteries, and airline policies. 

Foldable, lightweight Mobility scooters that meet carry-on baggage limits for size and lithium battery regulations can usually be brought into the aircraft cabin. Larger scooters may be transportable in cargo holds if airline weight and size constraints allow, but space can’t be guaranteed.

Regardless of scooter type, passengers must always contact the airline well in advance to confirm specific requirements, such as battery rules, documentation needs, and boarding procedures.

 

Mobility Scooter Users – Tips for a Smooth Journey

If you’re planning to use your mobility scooter on a bus, train, or tram, keep these top tips in mind:

  • Plan your route in advance, considering the accessibility of stations and stops
  • Avoid peak hours when possible, as buses and trains are less crowded and more manageable
  • Arrive early at stations and stops to allow time to board
  • Ensure your scooter is switched off when stationary on board
  • Engage your scooter is in freewheel mode before being pushed up ramps
  • Charge your batteries fully before longer journeys
  • Carry a backup charger and emergency contact details

 

A6 Mobility Shop: Your Gateway to Accessible Public Transport

Travelling with a mobility scooter on the UK’s public transport system can open up a world of possibilities. With the right preparation and knowledge of the rules, you can enjoy greater freedom and independence. 

With over 30 years of supplying mobility equipment, A6 Mobility Shop understands the importance of accessibility. That’s why our range of affordable mobility scooters includes models that comply with public transport regulations, ensuring you can travel confidently and easily.

We’re here to support you every step of the way, from selecting the perfect scooter to understanding how to navigate the transport network. Visit A6 Mobility Shop in Stockport or browse our Showroom Deals page to explore our range of new, ex-showroom, and refurbished mobility scooters.

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