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Thread: Train travel - told not allowed to transfer to a seat from mobility scooter

  1. #1

    Question Train travel - told not allowed to transfer to a seat from mobility scooter

    Hello everyone. This is my 1st post so please bear with me if I get anything wrong.

    Iíve just been told by a train companyís passenger assistance that if I book a wheelchair space for my mobility scooter then I have to stay in the scooter for the entire journey and am not allowed to transfer to a seat. If I do wish to transfer to a seat then my scooter has to go in storage in guards van.

    Iíve been travelling on trains with this particular train company for years but have never before been denied the request to transfer to a seat. Passenger assistance also tell me they now won't amend my current booking to reserve a companion seat unless I can prove someone is travelling with me.

    Has anyone else come across this policy or treatment?

    Iíve trawled the train companyís website and can find no mention of this. Interestingly South Eastern Railway say ďIt is recommended that for their own safety that scooter users transfer to a seat whilst on board the trainĒ but nothing about then moving the scooter to the guard van which is impossible to do once the train has left the station.

    I'd appreciate any comments forum members have.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    New Member
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    Nov 2013
    Location
    London
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    Mobility scooters and trains

    DecoBetty

    As you probably know train companies are not obliged by law to carry mobility scooters, but many will do if they meet certain criteria. Some companies run permit schemes. When you apply they ask for details about the size and other features of your scooter so that the train company can check itís suitable.
    At Rica, we summarised the individual mobility scooter policies of each of train operating company in April 2013 see our factsheet.

    If you check with the factsheet and the company again and there is still a problem then let me know more details and we may be able to help more: mail@rica.org.uk

    I hope this is useful.

    Chris at Rica www.rica.org.uk

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2014
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    Shropshire
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    I have been travelling on train with a manual chair for a few years, mostly Arriva, london midland or virgin. I have found that if there is the room, no one is too bothered if you have a seat. On Arriva, which is always more crowded and less spacious, I usually remain in my chair. that for me is usually a journey of 30-45 mins so no problem. I've just changed to a manual with power pack, so I won't take up any more room. I think it depends on the individual train company.

  4. #4
    Dear Chris at RICA. You have answered my question perfectly - thank you! The RICA factsheet contains the policy for the train company I'm travelling with which says "During journey: Stay on scooter or move to seat – passenger’s choice". The person who dealt with my passenger assistance booking was adamant that I had to stay in my scooter - which by the way is a small pride go go elite and within the permitted dimensions - and was very rude to me when I challenged this. I have raised a complaint over the phone but been asked to follow it up in writing, which I'm in the process of doing but have been gathering evidence to support my request to transfer to a seat, which is what I've done on all previous journeys with this same company.

    When I get this resolved - one way or the other - I'll update this thread.

    And thank you for making me aware of your organisation. This is the first I knew of you. But I've just subscribed to your newsletter and will peruse you website for other useful information.

    Thank you Chris, you have been a star.

    Kind regards,
    DecoBetty

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Nov 2013
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    London
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    Smile Happy that Rica's research helped you!

    DecoBetty

    Great. I am very pleased our independent research work helped you. Please keep us all updated on things progess.

    Also, please tell as many people as possible about Rica.

    Rica carries out independent research working with older and disability groups. We have a panel of over 150 disabled/older people and are always looking for more people to join. Our panel helps with focus groups and other research work. See more here.

    Apart from the Mobility scooter research on public transport we also have a unique car measurement search, funded by Motability which can help people shortlist suitable cars based on particular needs.

    We have some detailed information on choosing a car and car adaptations and also for people with specific conditions.

    Keep in touch

    Best wishes

    Chris

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Shropshire
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    1,484
    I have looked on your website (Rica) and I found the wheelchair accessible taxi numbers helpful as i will need one in Manchester for MSLife2014. Let you how it goes!

  7. #7
    If people struggle with First Great Western, look on the website they do give the contacts of their accessibility manager who has replied to emails, and if people want to know Hereford Shrub Hill, where the trains terminate from Paddington is only manned part time, and possibly the whole day Friday from what I remember. The stop before is only accessible by stairs, just for your information, but these stations are literally 500n or so apart.

    I have taken the trouble, of passing information from London Midland who man the station onto First Great Western who were not aware of some of the details I had by the sounds so I have done my best to update them on this for other disabled passengers to.

    Quote Originally Posted by reddivine View Post
    I have looked on your website (Rica) and I found the wheelchair accessible taxi numbers helpful as i will need one in Manchester for MSLife2014. Let you how it goes!

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