What Can I Take on a London Bus?

Fri May 03 2019

For many people living or working in London, getting a bus is the most affordable and practical way to get from A to B. This becomes even more essential with the difficulties in navigating the Underground system in a powerchair or a mobility scooter. The crowds alone can be off-putting, not to mention the fact that many stations still don’t have step free access. But what are the rules for taking a powered mobility product on a bus?

There are two key criteria which mobility scooters need to meet. In order to be allowed on a bus, a scooter cannot be higher than a class 2 scooter, meaning it cannot exceed speeds of 4mph. The second key criteria to meet regards size. A mobility scooter cannot be any larger than 100cm in length and 60cm in width. Most buses have limited space between the rear doors and the wheelchair area, so only the smaller sized mobility scooters are able to fit. It tends to be exclusively ‘boot’ scooters which fit into these size restrictions.

Our ever-popular Go Go travel scooter meets both requirements, and is available for hire, purchase and on the Motability scheme. If you are unsure at all about whether your mobility scooter is suitable for use on buses or not, you can check the dimensions on the Wheelfreedom website or call our customer service team for advice.

Please be aware that when using a bus, while you drive onto it as normal, you will be required to do a three point in order to get into the wheelchair area and get back off, this is what TFL will teach you. However due to crowded buses and dificulties with space our customers have often said they will reverse off, which is not recommended. This can seem daunting at first, which is why TFL offer the excellent ‘Travel Mentoring Service.’ The service is designed to assist those who are new to using mobility products on public transport, giving you the opportunity to receive assistance on London buses. Someone from TFL will accompany you on your first few journeys to make sure you are confident and comfortable using London buses on your mobility scooter or powerchair. Call TFL on 020 3054 4361 or email them at travelmentor@tfl.gov.uk to find out more.

Although all powerchairs are allowed on public transport and do not have the size/class limitations applied to them, there are some powerchairs which are better for this use than others. Mid-wheel drive powerchairs are often seen as superior due to the level of manoeuvrability and their ability to turn on the spot. This is preferable when managing tight spaces as traditional rear-wheel drive powerchairs are more cumbersome and have much wider turning circles. So outdoor capable, mid-wheel drive chairs such as the Jazzy Select 6 or the Quickie Q500 M are standout choices if bus travel is a priority in your life, and many of our customers use theirs regularly on bus trips.

It can be difficult to know whether a specific chair or scooter is right for you and your commute, which is why we offer a large range of chairs on our try before you buy scheme allowing you to test out a variety of products on your commute with up to four weeks of hire deductible against a purchase or long-term hire.

For more information, or to hire a scooter or wheelchair suitable for use on London buses, please call us on 0800 0258 005, or contact us through Facebook, Instagram or via Twitter @Wheelfreedom.