Another useful option for local travel is to take the train.
Not all local stations are yet accessible to people with mobility difficulties. More and more are being improved every year with lifts and ramps and other facilities, but it is important to check before you travel if you are unable to manage steps or stairs. You can check your station on-line at: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/default.aspx or phone the station.
You also need to check if the station will be staffed at the times you plan to leave or come back. Some less busy stations are not always staffed.
Mainline and London stations are all accessible and always have staff available.
All trains are now wheelchair accessible and almost all include facilities such as wheelchair accessible toilets, on board announcements of the next stop and plenty of hand holds to help you move through the train.
If you are travelling with a mobility scooter you will need to check with the train company as they each have their own policies on size and weight limits. You can find details at https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/tocs_maps/tocs/TrainOperators.aspx
It is recommended that you let the train company know in advance if you will need help to get on and off the train or through a busy station. The service is called Passenger Assist and you can ask for someone to:
- Meet you at the station entrance or meeting point
- Navigate round the station and get on board (using a ramp if needed)
- Meet you on arrival and help you off your train
- Carry your bags (up to 3 pieces of luggage).
To book assistance call Freephone 0800 0223720.
If you are planning to travel regularly by train, it is worth getting a Disabled Persons Railcard which will give you a third off an adult fare and the same discount for another adult travelling with you. See https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/.
There may be a Transport Hub near you which could help and offer advice and guidance.