Disability Awareness & Accessibility
Guidance for Bus Passengers using Wheelchairs, Buggies and Mobility Scooters
National Express is committed to making its scheduled bus services accessible to as many people as possible and ensuring all passengers can travel safely and comfortably. At busy times it must be recognised there may be a number of potential passengers wishing to use the specific areas of the bus set aside for wheelchair, buggy or mobility scooter use and therefore it may not be possible to travel on the vehicle of choice.
The wheelchair / pushchair / mobility scooter bays are available to all passengers on a first come, first served basis. No passengers have priority over other passengers on the bus. Under current legislation this includes wheelchair users.
All new buses built since 31 December 2000 must comply with strict safety criteria to allow a wheelchair user to board the bus. All buses in the UK must be wheelchair compliant by 2017.
ALL of our fleet can already accommodate a wheelchair and we are continuing to invest in new buses so that all our buses will continue to be fully accessible ahead of the 2017 deadline.
Our Accessible buses can potentially accommodate ;
- A “standard reference wheelchair” which has a maximum width of 700mm, a length of 1200mm, sitting height of 1350mm and footrest of 150mm. If your wheelchair exceeds these dimensions, the bus will not be able to carry you safely. Electric wheelchairs are classed in the same way as manual wheelchairs, although batteries must be covered.
- A Class 2 Mobility Scooter which has a maximum width of 600mm, a length of 1000mm and a turning radius not exceeding 1200mm. The weight of the passenger and the mobility scooter must not exceed 300kg.
- A maximum of 2 unfolded buggies. A double buggy will count as 2 buggies.
Specific rules apply to each of these categories and are set out below;
Guidance for wheelchair users travelling by bus
- All buses which can accommodate wheelchairs carry a sign on the near side corner of the front of the bus and/or a sign on the near side of the bus close to the front doors – see below.
- If a wheelchair user wishes to board the bus and the bay is already occupied, our drivers will ask passengers if they are prepared to move to allow the passenger using the wheelchair on board. However, the driver cannot compel passengers to move if they refuse to do so. If this occurs then we will be unable to accommodate the wheelchair user on that service.
- We will always attempt to park at bus stops to allow wheelchairs to board / alight from the bus easily. Drivers will deploy ramps on request for wheelchair users and the bus will ‘kneel’ where appropriate.
- When on board, please ensure you park your wheelchair in such a way that you do not obstruct the aisle.
- Wheelchair users should park the rear of their wheelchair against the back-rest.
- Brakes must be applied.
- Travelling sideways is not permitted.
- Wheelchairs must be occupied at all time when inside the bay. Empty wheelchairs must be folded and stored in the luggage rack.
Illustration of the wheelchair sign shown on our wheelchair accessible buses.
Guidance for buggy users travelling by bus
- Subject to space being available, National Express buses can carry up to two unfolded buggies. These must be carried within the buggy / wheelchair bays and must not block the aisle at any time.
- A sign detailing the maximum number of pushchairs that can be accommodated on our buses is clearly displayed both on the outside of the vehicle (near the doors) and on the drivers cab.
- The wheelchair / buggy / mobility scooter bays are available to all passengers on a first come, first served basis. No passengers have priority over other passengers on the bus.
- If a wheelchair / mobility scooter user wishes to board the bus and the bay is already occupied by a buggy our drivers will ask passengers if they are prepared to move to allow the passenger using the wheelchair / mobility scooter on board – this may mean they need to fold an unfolded buggy to make room. We always encourage all our passengers to consider the needs of other passengers and make the appropriate adjustments.
- We will always attempt to park at bus stops to allow pushchairs to board the bus easily.
- When on board, please ensure you park your buggy in such a way that you do not obstruct the aisle. Buggies must be parked inside the bay with the brakes on. Do not overload the handles with shopping as this can cause the pushchair to tip over.
- Unfolded buggies must be occupied at all time when inside the bay. Empty buggies must be folded and stored in the luggage rack.
Illustration of the buggy sign shown on our buses.
Guidance for Mobility Scooters travelling by bus
There is no legal requirement for bus operators to carry mobility scooters. However National Express has adopted the CPT Code for the use and acceptance of Mobility Scooters. The key features of the code are summarised below but potential users should study and follow
Full details of the scheme are set out in the the full code, which can be downloaded here - CPT Code for the Use and Acceptance of Mobility Scooters on Low Floor Buses leaflet (PDF).
- All users of mobility scooters MUST obtain a personalised ‘Permit to Travel’ prior to attempting to board a bus.
Mobility Scooters will not be carried on any NX bus under any circumstances without this ‘permit to travel’ For details of how to obtain a permit, including the required training, please contact:
Tel. 0121 254 7211 or email email@example.com
- Once on Board, passengers should put their mobility scooter in the designated wheelchair space, reversed up to the backrest. The scooter motor must be switched off and the scooter parked in gear to avoid movement.
- The passenger must remain on the mobility scooter once it is parked, using the handrails provided to assist with safety and stability.
Updated January 2013