Can I take my mobility scooter onto the train?
Each company sets its own rules for carrying scooters so check with them before you attempt to travel. Full details are given in each company’s Making rail accessible – helping older and disabled passengers DPPP document, online or ask their accessibility assistance phone line. Ensure that all the stations you wish to use have step-free access.
Many companies will carry non-folded mobility scooters, generally the smaller, lighter and more manoeuvrable types. Even so, the company may not let you take them on all trains or all routes.
Some train companies will only carry your scooter if you hold a scooter permit issued by them. Other train operators will convey only your scooter if it is folded down and placed in the luggage rack. In many cases staff will not lift them into or out of the train; you or your companion will need to do this.
The Research Institute for Consumer Affairs (RICA) undertook research in 2013 into acceptance of scooters on trains. For more details see the RICA report and National Rail Enquiries. The same rules on maximum weight and size as for wheelchairs apply to scooters: not longer than 120cm, not wider than 70cm and total weight of up to 300kg for scooter and rider. Some ramps can only carry up to 230kg.
In many cases train companies expect scooter users to reserve a space to accommodate the scooter – usually with at least 24 hours’ notice. You may have to transfer to a fixed seat on the train; the company will advise you.