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Getting around & disability
If you have difficulty in getting out and about or helping your partner to get out and about, this information may be of help:
Many stations throughout the UK do have special facilities for the disabled traveller. It is helpful to plan your journey and to help you with this the Disabled Persons Railcard website contains lots of up to date and useful information.
When you are planning a rail journey and know you may need extra help you may request this when you book your ticket. The train companies will need at least 24 to 48 hours notice that a disabled person who may need some extra help is travelling, although this is not always necessary. Your local station may be able to help you organise this or if you know the number of your train company call them direct.
Another way to find information about disabled access of stations and trains is to use the National Rail Enquiry Line. You can also ring them on 08457 484950 or textphone: 0845 6050600.
Please note that the Rail Enquiry Line cannot make journey arrangements for you.
It is also helpful for you to know as much about your individual circumstances before making arrangements. This information may include
- which means of transport will be used to get the disabled person to and from the station eg taxi, private car
- whether the disabled person will be travelling alone or be accompanied by you or someone else.
- Will a wheelchair be needed at the departure or arrival gate.
These are all questions that the train operator may need to know. You may also be eligible for a Disabled Persons Railcard.
Below are some other useful links to help you plan your rail journey
- A list of UK train companies
- Live Travel Information from South West Trains
If you need to cross London, London Transport operates Stationlink buses between some London Stations. These include, Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, St Pancras, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street, London Bridge, Waterloo and Victoria.
Stationlink buses have specially adapted low floors and ramps which allow easy access for people who use wheelchairs. For further information contact:
- The Unit for Disabled Passengers
172 Buckingham Palace Road
Tel. 020 7918 3312
- Travelling By Road? Up to date road Information from BBC Radio Devon.
- See also Motability - this government scheme helps provide disabled people with affordable cars.
When a person with a disability travels by air you should contact the airline which you are travelling on to inform them about any special needs either you or the person you care for have.
- View an A to Z list of airlines
If you booked your flight through a travel agent make them aware of the special needs they should then offer to help you make arrangements for your air travel.
When you are booking through a travel agent check with them to see if you or the person you care for have to fill in a medical information form (MEDIF) or an Incapacitated Passengers Handling Advice (INCAD) form. The first part of these forms records any additional requirements or services that made be needed. This informs the airline what additional equipment etc they may need to transport a person with a disability.
Part two of the form has to be completed by your doctor if the airline considers that they will need medical clearance to transport someone. The form is specific to the dates and flights shown on your travel itinerary. If any of these change, you will be required to fill in a new form.
If you travel regularly the Frequent Travellers Medical Card (FREMEC) form is used if the person has a permanent and stable condition. This form provides the airline with a permanent record of the needs and is valid on all flights on that airline. If you fly with any other airline you will need to check if you need a new FREMEC card.
At the Airport
- There are blue badge spaces in the car parks of most of the UK airports.
- There are unisex accessible toilets in all UK airport terminals.
- There is also reserved seating in most terminals which are clearly identified by universal pictograms.
- For those people who have hard of hearing there are induction loop facilities at various locations around the terminals within the UK. There may also be amplified announcements for those passengers wearing a hearing aid with a T position switch.
Further assistance can be provided from the nearest help point located within the terminals,on terminal forecourts and short stay car parks.
The help points have a telephone and help is available free of charge for those people with special needs. to find out about further facilities at UK airports
- See also the British Airports Authority
Exeter International Airport
By telephoning the number above, assistance can be made available from trained staff. Please notify the airport of your outbound and inbound details prior to date of departure.
On Board the flight
After making the airline aware of the special needs the flight should be relevantly straight forward. If you use a wheelchair, different airlines have different rules.
Some airlines allow people who use wheelchairs to stay in the chair until boarding the plane, others may wish for the person to transfer earlier so the wheelchair can be loaded on board the aircraft.
The information you give to the airline before you travel is very important. It will allow the airline to know if perhaps a seat is needed with more leg room or the seat needs to be located near a toilet. Some airlines do have accessible toilets for disabled passengers but not all. Always check when booking.
For further information contact
Access to the Skies Committee
12 City Forum
250 City Road
Tel. 020 7250 3222
For all bus, rail and National Express coach timetable information
- contact Traveline (7am - 9pm daily)
Tel. 0870 608 2 608
Victoria Coach Station, London - Mobility Service
- Tel. 020 7824 0000
Within Victoria Coach station, staff are able to assist passengers with reaching connecting buses etc. 24 hours notice is required.
National Bus Pass Scheme
Those aged 60 and over, together with disabled residents of England are entitled to a National Bus Pass.
There are facilities in most of the UK ports, but you will need to contact the port you are departing from to check what facilities are available for the disabled. Most modern ferries do have on-board facilities such as ramps and wheelchair accessible toilets etc. But it is important to check with the ferry company you are travelling with to see what facilities they have, as the facilities will vary between companies.
This is again the case if you are planning to go on a cruise check the facilities before you go!