Wheelchair spaces on trains
The type of spaces for wheelchairs varies between train types.
On new or refurbished trains, the wheelchair space is close to the accessible toilet, where provided, and may have a table and usually a call-for-help button next to it. Some older trains may lack the table and help button, but will provide a dedicated space, usually just inside the passenger seating area. A few newer trains accommodate wheelchairs in a separate part of the train but in dedicated spaces. If a backrest for the wheelchair is provided you should ensure that your wheelchair is correctly positioned against it and that its brakes are applied.
You cannot generally take onto trains a wheelchair which is wider than 70cm, longer than 120cm or which weighs more than 300kg when you are in it. Some older trains cannot accommodate wheelchairs wider than 60cm. Check with each train company whose trains you will use.
On some older trains, wheelchairs may be accommodated in the ‘flexible space’ where cycles and larger luggage may also be placed. At all times, wheelchairs have priority over other items in these spaces.
Some wheelchair spaces may have tip-up seats in them which other passengers can use if the wheelchair space is not occupied. They must give up these seats to enable the wheelchair to fit properly into the space.
For some journeys it is possible to reserve the wheelchair space. Some companies do not reserve any accommodation on some or all of their trains and on those services, which are usually frequent, wheelchairs are carried on first-come first-served basis.
Fuller details are shown in each company’s Disabled People’s Protection Policy (DPPP) or from their assistance helpline. All DPPPs give details of wheelchair accommodation on the company’s trains; some are more informative than others, with illustrations or diagrams of coaches and the location of wheelchair spaces, priority seats, wheelchair-accessible toilets and so on. If you cannot find the information you need, contact the train company.
On many longer-distance trains two or more wheelchairs may be accommodated, but probably not together; one may be in first class and the other in standard class. The train company will advise you.
A wheelchair will generally not be carried if the designated wheelchair space is occupied. It is potentially dangerous to you and to other passengers and staff if the wheelchair is left in areas of the train (for instance in the doorway vestibules) which are not intended for them.