How wheelchair-friendly is public transport in the UK? There may have been some improvements in recent years as government and local authorities have started to address the lack of access for wheelchair users, but the fact remains that navigating towns and cities can still be a challenge for those with mobility problems.
Train travel is perhaps the most wheelchair-friendly method of getting around, and the vast majority of train companies will provide ramps and assistance for wheelchair users, but they still require prior notification to offer this service, and in any case, trains are better suited for longer trips, not for short trips into town.
The cheapest option is to use the bus, and the good news here is that dedicated wheelchair spaces are mandatory for all bus companies, but the big problem with bus travel is the location of the stops. Many of these are hard to access for wheelchair users, which can often mean catching the bus is not an option.
If you’re prepared to pay a little more, you can travel by taxi, but although many local authorities require registered taxi companies to offer wheelchair access, this provision is patchy across the UK. Going by taxi is also expensive, so isn’t really practical if you intend to make regular shopping or social visits to the city.
The best solution is to invest in a wheelchair accessible vehicle. This will free you from relying on crowded public transport and enable you to park close to your destination; plus, in the long term it will work out much cheaper than using taxis. At Mobility One, we offer a wide range of affordable, used wheelchair accessible vehicles to help you enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with being able to get around unaided in towns and cities.