A recent survey by Leonard Cheshire Disability has revealed that over a third of disabled people have had difficulties using public transport. The amount that had problems (37%) is ten percent higher than the figure from the charity’s previous survey, in 2009.
Respondents reported a number of problems around the issue of staffing, with many public transport staff members lacking awareness of how best to support disabled users, and railway stations in particular often not having enough staff available to assist with boarding and disembarking trains. Wheelchair users in particular had problems, with many saying that taxi drivers refused to stop for them, or charged them extra to use the taxi.
Additionally, 15% of respondents who had problems using buses said that they were unable to get on as the wheelchair space was occupied by a buggy or pram. Many of the people who hire wheelchairs from us have used them for travel, on planes, trains, buses and taxis. While we have generally heard good things from our customers about their experiences travelling with a wheelchair, we will keep our eyes open for stories of similar problems using public transport.