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If you require assistance to make your journey, please remember to book any help you may need in advance. By letting us know your travel requirements in advance, we can help make sure you have a hassle-free journey. But, even if you need a hand on the day, we'll still do everything we can.
Older and disabled customers can request help and support from staff to assist when travelling by train.
If your journey is direct between two stations managed by TransPennine Express, you can request assistance with as little as 2 hours notice before you travel. If your journey isn’t with TransPennine Express, is to or from a station that we don’t manage, or involves a change, you can request help by calling our assisted travel team up to 10pm the night before you wish to travel.
Our team (and those of other operators) will always try to keep at arms-length and will spend the shortest time possible with you when providing your assistance.
Please ensure that you wear a face covering if you can whilst you receive your assistance. There are some exemptions on wearing face coverings, information on exemptions in England can be found here and in Scotland here. Our staff helping you at our stations will also be wearing one to help protect you.
Customers using a wheelchair are requested to face forward. Our staff will wipe the handles on your chair before and after touching them and also position you at least 2m away whilst we set up the train access ramp. If you need to use the lift our team will not accompany you in the lift (unless you specifically request it), we will use the stairs and meet you at the top or bottom so that we maintain social distancing in what are usually confined spaces.
There are a few ways you can let us know you need assistance:
Call our Assisted Travel Team on 0800 107 2149
Customers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use the Text Relay service by adding the prefix 18001 in front of the number. A relay assistant will translate your call to text with the Next Generation Text service. To find out more about this service, visit ngts.org.uk
Our lines are open 06:00 to 23:00 daily, where our customer service staff will be happy to help you make your booking. Check out our Making Rail Accessible guides below for more details.
Our team can help you at station and on board our trains.
We can assist older and disabled customers throughout the station, offering help with:
Other services are also available. Our Assisted Travel Team can discuss with you what help can be provided at each station.
To help our teams, when you have requested assistance, you should arrive at the station in plenty of time, no less than 20 minutes before your train is due to depart and make yourself known to station staff. Our Assisted Travel Team will confirm your meeting point with you.
You can also get assistance when on board the train with finding your seat, or from our on-board staff during your journey.
All trains operated by TransPennine Express meet the accessibility standards set by the government, with dedicated wheelchair user spaces, priority seating, accessible toilets, audio and visual announcements, and much more. Why not take a look at our seating plans to help familiarise yourself before you travel?
Please be aware: With regret, it is not possible for wheelchair users to access First Class on our Class 185 and Class 350 trains. There are also some other trains used in the UK which similarly cannot offer first class travel to wheelchair users. Our Assisted Travel Team can help you to identify these.
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.
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.
TransPennine Express have introduced three brand new fleets of intercity trains across our network, fully compliant with the latest accessibility regulations, and providing more seats, increased luggage capacity and new on-board facilities including at seat power sockets, USB charging and free Wi-Fi with media servers. We’re really excited to deliver this £500 Million investment in our services to provide an upgraded experience for our customers.
As we approach the transition period when these new trains will enter into service, we will not be issuing annual Scooter Cards on the affected routes, including:
Customers wishing to travel with a mobility scooter on these routes have the following options:
Travelling to Hull or Cleethorpes, or on our local services between Manchester, Huddersfield and Leeds?
If your journey is on one of the routes that will continue to be operated by our Class 185 fleets, our policy is unchanged, and we can issue an annual permit. To apply, please download a Scooter Card Application Form and return it to us by email at TPE.ScooterCards@FirstGroup.com or post it to us at the address on the form.
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.
Our commitment to rail travel assistance is just one of the ways we’re making your train journey better. Be sure to read all about the Disabled Persons Railcard which can help you save money on your rail travel.
Full details of the services we provide to help older and disabled customers, and the improvements we are making to our services for customers with additional needs, can be found in the following documents (Word and PDF versions available):