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We recognise that for many, a mobility scooter enables journeys which may otherwise not be possible, and we seek to carry them on our trains wherever it is safe to do so.
To apply for a scooter card, please click here and complete the application form.
Folded or dismantled scooters can be taken on all our train services. You can request assistance from staff to help lift the folded or dismantled scooter on and off the train and store it safely in one of the luggage stacks on board, but you or your companion will need to fold or dismantle it before boarding. If you want to ride your scooter on and off the train, and then transfer to a seat, you’ll need a scooter card.
We operate a scooter card system to ensure that the mobility scooters which are carried on our trains are able to board and alight safely. The requirements which we set have been determined through the completion of risk assessments on our trains, and consider not only the space on the train, but also the space which is needed to board and alight and the angle of the ramp between the platform and the train. This approach is for your safety, and for the safety of our staff and other customers.
Folded or dismantled scooters can be taken on all our train services. You will need to apply for a scooter card in order to make sure your scooter meets the requirments to be taken onboard our trains.
Access to trains for wheelchair users is assessed at the time when the train is designed and built or refurbished and is regulated through standards set by the Department for Transport. These standards are RVAR and PRM-TSI.
These standards do not set specifications for the carriage of mobility scooters, and so each train operator determines its ability to accommodate mobility scooters on its trains by undertaking a risk assessment.
Our risk assessment has found that mobility scooters have very different characteristics to wheelchairs, and we use our scooter card approach to assess the suitability of a scooter to board our train before travel.
Turning: Where a wheelchair has two large drive wheels, and smaller casters, allowing it to pivot within its own length, mobility scooters have three of four wheels, all the same size resulting in a turning radius, making it less maneuverable.
Control: Electric wheelchairs are controlled by a joystick, where mobility scooters have a tiller or handlebars with accelerator and braking levers. For some, these can be harder to control.
Ramps: Mobility scooters generally have a higher centre of gravity than electric wheelchairs, and are less stable than wheelchairs, so they have a higher risk of tipping. Many Class 2 mobility scooters also have a recommended ramp climbing angle of between 6 and 8 degrees, where wheelchairs are comfortable climbing steeper ramps.
Purpose: Most electric wheelchairs are designed for a mixture of indoor and outdoor use, where most scooters are designed to be used outdoors only, making them less suitable for being transported inside a vehicle, such as a train or bus.
Our scooter card approach allows checks to be carried out in advance of travel to assess whether or not it is safe for you to ride your scooter on and off the train. It is not possible to carry out these checks in the operational environment of the station as when we carry out our checks, we consider all of the stations where you may board and alight. An assessment of one station would not necessarily guarantee being able to board and alight safely at another. We also need to consider the time involved in carrying out an assessment, which could lead to a significant delay to train services to and from the station.
We would encourage customers who cannot fold or dismantle their scooter to make use of our passenger assistance service. Our teams can help with luggage and provide a station wheelchair or buggy to assist you through the station and onto the train. This service is available at all staffed stations. You could team this up with a rented scooter from one of the many Shopmobility points across the UK when you get to where you’re going.
If this isn’t suitable, you could consider travelling with a companion who can assist with folding or dismantling your scooter so that you can take it with you. The Disabled Persons Railcard entitles both the bearer and their companion to a 50% discount on travel, meaning they can travel with you for less.