Accessible Travel - Information for Disabled and Less Mobile People
4. Powered Mobility Vehicles, Including Scooters
Types of Mobility Vehicles
- Class 1 - manual wheelchair, i.e. self-propelled or attendantpropelled, not electrically powered;
- Class 2 - powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters, for footway use only with a maximum speed limit of 4 miles per hour;
- Class 3 - powered wheelchairs, and powered scooters for use on roads/highways with a maximum speed limit of 8 miles per hour and facility to travel at 4 miles per hour on footways.
Rules for users of powered wheelchairs and powered mobility scooters are available in the Highway Code: www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069852.
Wheels within Wheels, published by Ricability, is a useful guide to using wheelchairs on public transport: www.ricability.org.uk/consumer_reports/mobility_reports/wheels_within_wheels.
On the Pavement
Powered mobility vehicles must not travel faster than 4 miles per hour (6 kilometres per hour) on pavements or in pedestrian areas. You may need to reduce your speed to adjust to other pavement users who may not be able to move out of your way quickly enough or where the pavement is too narrow.
When There Is No Pavement
Class 2 mobility vehicle users can use the road, but should use caution and:
- travel in the direction of the traffic (where possible);
- lights must be used if travelling at night.
On the Road
Class 3 mobility vehicle users should use caution, and:
- should travel in the direction of the traffic;
- should ensure they are highly visible at all times;
- should not carry more than one person;
- must follow the same rules about using lights, indicators and horns as other road vehicles; and
- must not travel on motorways, in cycle lanes or bus lanes (when in operation).
The Department for Transport has developed a Code of Practice for Class 3 Vehicles: www.dft.gov.uk/transportforyou/access/tipws/codeofpracticeforclass3vehic6165.
Powered Mobility Vehicles on Public Transport
Some operators, at their own discretion, will permit powered mobility vehicles (e.g. mobility scooters) to travel where possible, but you may find that you are denied carriage for health and safety reasons (including stability and manoeuvrability concerns). Make sure you check with the transport operator before you attempt any journey.
Where transport operators are able to carry powered mobility vehicles, operators may only be able to do so if the dimensions do not exceed those of the UK reference wheelchair:
- total length 1200 mm;
- total width 700 mm;
- sitting height (from ground to top of head) 1350 mm;
- height of footrest above floor 150 mm.
You will have to use the designated space, which will have a padded backrest for you to park against. For your safety and comfort you should always use this space.
Some operators allow carriage of powered mobility vehicles if the dimensions fall within those of the reference wheelchair. Find out more by contacting the operator of your local bus service on Transport Direct: www.transportdirect.info/Web2/JourneyPlanning/FindBusInput.aspx or phone 0871 200 2233. Contact Transport for London for information about using powered mobility vehicles on buses in London. See Section 1 for contact information.
Some operators may only be able to carry powered mobility vehicles if the dimensions fall within those of a reference wheelchair (see above), or if it can be dismantled to fit in the luggage racks. To find out more, see the information provided by National Rail on each of the train operators: www.nationalrail.co.uk/passenger_services/disabled_passengers/wheelchairs_scooters.html or phone 0845 748 4950. Contact Transport for London for information about using powered mobility vehicles on London Overground (and Underground). See Section 1 for contact information.
Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles
The decision on whether or not to carry powered mobility vehicles will be up to the driver and will depend on the size of your vehicle. Section 6 contains more information.
Trams and Light Rail Services
Some operators allow carriage of powered mobility vehicles. To find out more, contact the operator of your local service. Section 7 contains more information.