Road

BUS TRAVEL

Around where I live in England all the buses are accessible with electronic fold out ramps.  This appears good news but a bus is only allowed one wheelchair passenger so if there are other disabled people around, or the space is full of push chairs, and the service is not frequent there is a risk of being stranded.  Wheelchairs are not clamped or tied down on public buses so in the event of a sudden stop there is the possibility the chair may move (this happened to me in 2010 breaking my chair and tearing the ligaments in my hand).  We had a completely different experience in Pittsburgh, USA where all the buses have tie-downs which the driver is trained to use.

TRAMS

My experience of trams is good. In Croydon, England the line is accessible and in Strasbourg, France it was easy to drive on and off (the only downside was the speed at which the doors tried to close.  I guess these are both modern lines so older ones may not be so accessible.

I like the fact there seems to be no restriction on numbers of wheelchairs which means I can travel with friends.

 

 

TAXI

Top of my taxi list has to be the ‘baby hummer’ taxis in Pittsburgh which were complete with tie-downs and where I got to sit up front alongside the driver.

 

In London and around home we use Black Cabs, the traditional London Taxi. Whilst I can get into these I have to travel facing side to side and my chair is not clamped down, any passengers then have to sit with their feet on the seat or under my wheels (my power chair is quite big).  Older taxi cabs are supposed to have portable ramps and the newer models have a pull out ramp out of the floor which is a good angle onto a pavement.  It also seems all cabs should also have an extension to make it safe to get down to road level.

MY OWN VAN

After the experiences on the local bus when my chair got broken (and my hand damaged) I decided to learn to drive. Following a lengthy process of assessment and applying to Motability I am now the proud owner of a van with tail lift and completely adapted for me to drive.  Thank you Motability.

You can find a recent presentation I did about applying for my own vehicle here