Part of the GET WISE series from BHTA is a guide to using public transport.
As a wheelchair user, you will find that more and more public transport is becoming accessible to you. New regulations mean that in future trains, buses and taxis will all have to be designed so that most wheelchair users can travel in them.
Here are some basic facts that you might find it helpful to know, particularly if you do not use public transport but would like to do so.
The majority of wheelchair users will be able to use public transport. But you may find that you can’t if:
- Your chair is very big (taking up a space – when you are in it – of more that 700mm wide or 1200mm long), or
- Your chair is very heavy, or
- You need to travel with your legs fully extended or the backrest reclined, or
- You have a scooter (which will be difficult to manoeuvre and may be unstable in a vehicle)
You must ensure that your wheelchair is in a safe condition to travel. This means, for example, making sure that it is correctly maintained, that the tyres are properly inflated, that you have not overloaded the back of the chair with bags (this can cause the chair to tip over backwards on a ramp). If you have a powered chair, you must also ensure that the battery is secure. If your chair has adjustable kerb climbers you should check that they are set so that they do not catch on the ramp.
The transport operator has the right to refuse to let you travel if he believes that your wheelchair is not in a safe condition.
Click below to continue reading the BHTA guide to using public transport.