Train travel is one of the most comfortable and pleasurable ways to travel- especially if you have mobility issues. Train operators are legally required to be accessible to all passengers; however, their policies for transporting mobility scooters can vary.
This article clarifies the rules about mobility scooters on trains, factors to consider, and a few handy tips to make your train travels as stress-free as possible.
Can I take my mobility scooter on a train?
Yes, train operators are legally obliged to provide travel accessible to all, without discrimination against any mobility issues (such as users of mobility scooters).
Weight and measurement restrictions for mobility scooters
Mobility scooters can vary in size and shape, with each train operator having their own particular policy regarding weight limits and measurements they can accommodate.
Most operators work their limits around the government standard scooter size of 1200mm x 700mm. It is safest to contact the relevant train company if your scooter exceeds these dimensions.
The maximum permitted weight is usually dictated by the maximum operating load of the ramp needed to board the train- typically, 300kg. Some ramps may have a lower weight limit, however, so again, contacting the operator prior to booking is advised.
For the latest information on respective restrictions, please refer to the National Rail page on Wheelchairs and Powered Scooters.
Further restrictions for mobility scooters
Here are examples of some of the restrictions applied by train operators:
Transport For Wales
-require mobility scooters with brake release, an anti-tipping feature and a turning radius no bigger than 900mm.
Great Western, TransPenine and Northern
-Only accommodate class 2 mobility scooters onboard.
The National Rail page will give you details of each operator’s individual policy; again, we recommend you check before you travel. Ideally, before you book your ticket, as some tickets are non-refundable.
Permits and pre-booking
You may need to apply for a permit in advance of your journey, so operators can verify your scooter meets their requirements.
Northern, Southwestern and EMR all require permits.
TransPenine has ‘scooter cards’- you can travel without one but will be required to fold your scooter and store it as luggage.
Our tips for a stress-free journey
- Check your provider’s policies prior to travel.
- If your journey includes a transfer, you have checked both operators’ policies.
- Booking outside peak hours (0630-0930, 1530-1830)- where possible- can help with boarding and a less crowded service.
- Call ahead to book assistance, if possible. The Passenger Assistance app enables you to inform your operator of your needs before you arrive, helping ensure you get a quick boarding.
- Make sure your scooter is ready for the journey- tyres fully pumped, battery charged etc.
- Be aware of all the different passenger assistance supports available on board.
This may seem like a daunting list, but it really shouldn’t be! A little forward planning should ensure you have an enjoyable, stress-free journey.
Check out our range of mobility scooter insurance for that extra peace-of-mind.