Mobility Scooters on Northern Question

thenorthern

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My grandfather is looking at getting a mobility scooter and I was wondering what the rules are for taking them on Northern. The website is rather vague and their telephone information isn't much better.

He lives in South Lakeland so he would be using the Furness line. Given the area the topography means he needs quite a powerful one to get up the hills so it's a difficult balance of one that is powerful enough but at the same time not be too large that he can't take it on the train.
 
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coxxy

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You can take them on as long as they are folded up and carried on board. Due to the turning circle larger mobility scooters that cant be folded down wont be able to board the train.
 

Saperstein

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You can take them on as long as they are folded up and carried on board. Due to the turning circle larger mobility scooters that cant be folded down wont be able to board the train.
Is that just a Northern Trains thing? I’ve certainly seen one on board a Norwich-bound Greater Anglia service.

I must admit there wasn’t a lot of room and the gentleman couldn’t turn his machine round until other pax had alighted at Norwich.

But then there’s no other way as you certainly can’t board a bus with them.

How I miss the old mark 1 stock with guards compartments where there was no problem.
 

Lemmy99uk

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How I miss the old mark 1 stock with guards compartments where there was no problem.
I’m pretty sure that most wheelchair passengers DO NOT miss the old mark I brake vans.

Shoved into a cold draughty parcels area with no access to any facilities, no interaction with other customers and on some occasions over carried way beyond their destination is hardly the way you would want to travel.

Treated like second class citizens doesn’t come close to describing the awful experience that people were subjected to.
 

Saperstein

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I’m pretty sure that most wheelchair passengers DO NOT miss the old mark I brake vans.

Shoved into a cold draughty parcels area with no access to any facilities, no interaction with other customers and on some occasions over carried way beyond their destination is hardly the way you would want to travel.

Treated like second class citizens doesn’t come close to describing the awful experience that people were subjected to.
Completely agree from that aspect, especially on a long journey.

Unfortunately on modern units I’ve seen countless people sit and put luggage and even bikes where the wheelchair space is and often refusing to move for the needy,

they think it’s ok because there is not a guard present in that part of the train it’s ok. Not on.

Maybe I’m just unlucky.
 

Edders23

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What does folded down mean?

most mobility scooters can fold down the forward control column and the seat can be removed to reduce the footprint and some can be completely dismantled but the big ones are a problem someone once tried to get one into the back of my taxi even with the seats folded down it still wouldn't fit so they ended up leaving it outside the station and leaving both scooters behind and having to travel to Peterborough without them. Mind you he works out in a gym so god knows why he insists on riding around town on one
 

jh1989

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The most recent policy is dated February 2019, and is burried in the FAQ section of the website under "Accessibility".

I also understand changes are imminent to extend this very shortly though. But for now, they can only be carried unfolded on those few EMUs, from those few stations
 

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Flying Snail

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Allowing certain types on certain routes is just the typical nonsense that seems to accompany anything vaguely linked to disability. Wheelchairs should be accommodated, mobility scooters should be banned 100% no exceptions. Trains are not big enough and certainly are not empty enough to allow people who mostly are perfectly able to use their legs to take a motorised vehicle on board.
 

pinkmarie80

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Probably now forgotten but there were quite a few accidents a decade ago including the infamous driving straight out the (closed) doors on the other side on Nexus into the path of a 142.

e.g.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-15895767
What they don’t tell you is that one of them was an electric wheelchair, not a scooter- yet despite many of them being bigger and heavier than scooters they continued to be allowed as ‘banning them would inviolate the DDA’ (actual quote from Nexus there!)

At the time my severely disabled mum used a scooter and together we kicked up a real stink- Nexus were incredibly ignorant about it when faced with the fact the ban would leave some people housebound- their response was ‘they can use a manual wheelchair’ Idiots that they are!

We got human rights people and everything involved. Nexus solution was to give those affected vouchers for £2 for taxis which could only be used on the most expensive taxi company in Newcastle!

Some of the reactions I’ve seen from Northern (if anyone has heard of Tanyalee Davis and her Scooter Girl campaign, I’ve mostly seen on there) are akin to some of the ones Nexus were throwing out all that time ago.
Ps the view that those who use mobility scooters are just lazy really annoys me. My late dad used one and he could only walk a few steps, my mum used one when she had no mobility at all, and I’ve seen various other examples on the Scooter Girl campaign, all of whom had disabilities severely impairing their ability to mobilise. I would pose the question to the previous poster what about those who can’t use their legs?!
 

sportzbar

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Northern policy has not actually changed for several years due to the many differing types of rolling stock that has and continues to be used. Trials are being carried out at various points across the network. Only folding scooters that can be carried as luggage are permitted to be carried.

The problems that have been seen on the network tend to come from other TOC staff that either haven't been briefed or just don't want the hassle, that allow mobility scooters on to the train.

I personally in the last couple of years have had arguments with another TOCs staff who have assisted mobility scooters onto my train. It was always the same seaside station not a million miles to the south of Blackpool.
 

Jonny

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Allowing certain types on certain routes is just the typical nonsense that seems to accompany anything vaguely linked to disability. Wheelchairs should be accommodated, mobility scooters should be banned 100% no exceptions. Trains are not big enough and certainly are not empty enough to allow people who mostly are perfectly able to use their legs to take a motorised vehicle on board.
most mobility scooters can fold down the forward control column and the seat can be removed to reduce the footprint and some can be completely dismantled but the big ones are a problem someone once tried to get one into the back of my taxi even with the seats folded down it still wouldn't fit so they ended up leaving it outside the station and leaving both scooters behind and having to travel to Peterborough without them. Mind you he works out in a gym so god knows why he insists on riding around town on one
The need for the ability to use one's legs is a good explanation of the term 'mobility scooter'... because you need a lot of mobility to get on one. Also, there are no standardised or statutory checks to get one - or on rider competence for that matter - and they falls outside the vehicle licensing regime.

Probably now forgotten but there were quite a few accidents a decade ago including the infamous driving straight out the (closed) doors on the other side on Nexus into the path of a 142.

e.g.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-15895767
They were quite a nuisance at one time - not only on trains but also on the streets. Things seem to have calmed down quite a bit, though. There seems to be fewer of them, these days.
 

father_jack

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The best way I have found to make a judgement is that, if the chair has a joystick, it is a powered wheelchair and will as good as always be permissable.

If it has handlebars or a steering wheel it is a mobility aid and needs to fit criteria which differ from one operator to the next because of turning circles differing on different stock. And should be left parked outside Wetherspoons :E:E:E (me being funny on a serious subject !)
 

TUC

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https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/1828...scooter-allowed-furness-line-train-ulverston/

Currently need to be the fold up type that can be carried onto the train however they will soon be allowed onto the new 195/331 trains (195s run on the Furness line along with 156s) on selected routes where risk assessments have been conducted to ensure passenger safety.
One might have expected that risk assessment would have been done at the train design stage rather than now.
 

WatcherZero

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Also has happened before that new rolling stock supposedly designed with clearance has had to have wind breaks around the doors taken out when clearance was physically tested.
 

roadie

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The need for the ability to use one's legs is a good explanation of the term 'mobility scooter'... because you need a lot of mobility to get on one. Also, there are no standardised or statutory checks to get one - or on rider competence for that matter - and they falls outside the vehicle licensing regime.



They were quite a nuisance at one time - not only on trains but also on the streets. Things seem to have calmed down quite a bit, though. There seems to be fewer of them, these days.
If you find getting on a mobility scooter difficult can I suggest your doing something wrong, I don't know what sort of mobility device you've tried using but when your plugged into Oxygen 24/7 a mobility scooter comes in very handy! They are also allowed on London Bus's with the correct accreditation. All I can hope is that you health stays with you to you drop and that the ability to walk more than a couple of yards is not lost otherwise you are in for a deep shock.
 

Sleeperwaking

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Here is a tweet from a few weeks ago about the mobility scooter testing on the Furness Line. Text below, original tweet includes photos of the test. The photos are of people on mobility scooters / powered wheelchairs entering / exiting the train on a ramp, and of two people (one on a scooter, one in a powered wheelchair) parked in the wheelchair area on a Class 195. So, as has been mentioned above, seems like it's something being worked on right now. There is some mention of the scooter policy being based around the "reference wheelchair size" in the replies.

History in the making. Northern mobility scooter user testing on Furness Line. Huge thanks to the Northern accessibility team for making thIs possible. Huge thanks to station staff, especially Patrick at Ulverston, Rob at Grange-Over-Sands & Barrow staff who were all amazing.
 

RHolmes

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I’d also add here that if you do have a mobility scooter that folds, YOU are the one who has to fold it, and not a remember of train crew or station staff
 

Tetchytyke

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What they don’t tell you is that one of them was an electric wheelchair, not a scooter- yet despite many of them being bigger and heavier than scooters they continued to be allowed as ‘banning them would inviolate the DDA’ (actual quote from Nexus there!)
Nexus were right, and still are. Mobility scooters have no place on Metro, mainly due to their power and size, but also their lack of maneuverability. The way they move, using handlebars and only one steering axle, is not suitable for confined spaces. That's why several people ended up ploughing through the doors and getting a faceful of ballast. Not to mention the fact that scooters- being longer and taller- are much more of a topple risk.

Northern have the same rules for the same reason.

If you can't use a manual chair, use a powered chair. They're allowed on trains and on the Metro. And you get a pretty decent range on them now.

With more modern and spacious trains, the appalling maneuverability of most scooters will be less of an issue. But for now it is.

On that note, there's some muppet here complaining he can't take his massive mobility scooter on the bus. Of course he can't, the damn thing is almost the same size as the bus. Luckily politicians here don't tend to sugarcoat their answers and he got very short shrift :lol:
 

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