Open travel policies must be developed and followed by all licenced train and station operators (ATP). The ATP of an operator specifies the quality of services and facilities that disabled passengers can expect, as well as how to obtain assistance and seek assistance if anything goes wrong. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) permits and controls compliance with the ATP specifications by train and station operators.
Each operator’s assistance varies slightly, but at a minimum, all operators must provide the following:
- Passenger assistance should be available at all stations during the hours that trains are expected to arrive. Until March 31, 2020, reservations must be made 24 hours in advance.
- alternative accessible transportation: if a station is inaccessible, operators must provide a suitable alternative service to the nearest, most convenient, accessible station without charge.
- If this has not been arranged in advance, assistance must be given based on the circumstances at the time of travel as well as personnel availability.
- tickets and fares: if disabled passengers are unable to purchase a ticket in advance, they must be able to do so on the train or at the station without penalty.
- suitcases: When assistance has been requested in advance, operators must ensure that personnel will be available to assist.
- Scooter carriage: operators must make their policies clear in an ATP, particularly any policy that prohibits the carriage of scooters.
- Operators must provide up-to-date information about facility and service accessibility, timetables, fares, connections and delays, interruption, diversions, and emergencies to passengers.
- aural and visual information: a pledge to provide transparent and accurate aural and visual information on train departures whenever possible.
If you’re eligible for a disabled person’s railcard (DPRC), you can save up to a third on adult rail fares by applying for one. You’ll need to have proof of a relevant impairment.
Process for rail grievances and compliance
If you are a disabled passenger and are dissatisfied with the rail service offered, you can contact the train operator. If you are not happy with the answer, you may contact the Rail Ombudsman, an independent body. The Rail Ombudsman was created by the rail industry to investigate and rule on unresolved customer grievances, with the authority to make binding decisions.
ORR is in charge of ensuring that train operating companies are adhering to their ATP obligations.
Coaches and buses
Obligations placed on car transport companies
Physical accessibility: Beginning January 1, 2020, buses and coaches equipped to carry more than 22 passengers on local and scheduled routes must comply with the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR).
Driver responsibilities: The Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors, and Passengers) Regulations 1990 (the “Conduct Regulations”) enable drivers of public service vehicles to provide disabled passengers with certain forms of assistance, such as deploying boarding ramps and lifts as required, assisting wheelchair users to board and alight the vehicle, and so on.
Local transport authorities (LTAs) are usually in charge of roadside infrastructure supporting bus services, including bus stations and stops, and passengers can contact the appropriate authority if facilities are insufficiently available to meet their needs. LTAs and other public bodies are bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and the duty to make fair amendments under the Equality Act 2010.
Local Buses in England: Concessionary Travel: In England, the statutory bus concession offers free off-peak local bus travel to qualifying older and disabled people. The conditions for eligibility for the concession are spelled out in the law.
According to the Equality Act of 2010, transportation operators must make fair accommodations for disabled travellers. Only the courts have the authority to decide what constitutes a “reasonable change.” The Supreme Court clarified the law when it pertains to wheelchair users’ access to wheelchair spaces in January 2017, ruling that drivers must do more than merely insist all passengers vacate the room when a wheelchair user requires it.
Complaints about buses and coaches, as well as the compliance procedure
Accessibility on the physical level: The Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner are in charge of ensuring PSVAR enforcement (OTC). Passengers who suspect a bus or coach covered by PSVAR is not following the rules should report their complaints to the DVSA for further investigation.
Driver responsibilities: If passengers believe that a bus or coach driver has failed to provide assistance that is needed by the Conduct Regulations or that may constitute a fair change, we encourage them to report directly to the service operator. If the operator is unable to settle a complaint, passengers can contact:
Bus Users UK is an alternate conflict settlement body for bus and coach passengers in the United Kingdom outside of London, and London TravelWatch is for complaints in London.
Stations and exits for buses: Passengers who believe an LTA has behaved improperly can file a complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman or seek legal advice on their own.
Concessionary travel: Those who believe they have been denied a concessionary permit unlawfully should file a complaint with the appropriate authority first, then escalate to the Local Government Ombudsman if required. Concessionary travel is a devolved policy sector, and the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are responsible for determining what concessions are available.
Obligations for taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) transportation providers
Passengers with disabilities who travel by taxi or PHV have a variety of privileges, including:
Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010, which requires non-exempt drivers of taxis and PHVs designated as wheelchair accessible to accept wheelchair users, provide appropriate assistance, and refrain from charging them more than the standard fare; section 20 of the Equality Act 2010, which requires service providers to make reasonable adjustments to allow them to access their services; and section 20 of the Equality Act 2010, which requires non-exempt drivers of taxis and PHVs designated as wheelchair accessible to accept wheelchair users, provide appropriate assistance, and refrain from
Regulated taxis must be wheelchair accessible in some places (mostly larger cities). To find out if there are accessible taxis near you, contact your local council’s taxi licencing office.
Both black cabs in London are wheelchair accessible. Hearing aid users may use induction loops and intercoms in some of the newer black cabs.
In addition to the regulations about wheelchairs and assistance dogs, all taxi and minicab drivers must ensure that you are not discriminated against and that you are not treated less favourably than other customers.
They should also make some “fair changes” to their service to make your journey go more smoothly.
Complaints and compliance procedures for taxis and PHVs
Passengers who believe a driver has violated Sections 165, 168, or 170 of the Equality Act 2010 should first notify the appropriate Local Licensing Authority (LLA). LLAs are normally the local district or unitary authority, and are often marked by a notice displayed in or on licenced vehicles. Taxis and PHVs are licenced by Transport for London on behalf of the Boroughs in London.
Passengers who suspect a driver has failed to make appropriate changes in accordance with Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 are advised to contact the related LLA first. They should, however, prefer to engage their own legal counsel about the possibility of legal action.
Finally, passengers can contact the LLA for information on taxi and PHV service accessibility in their location, as well as the steps being taken to improve it. If they believe the LLA’s actions are improper or inadequate, they should file a complaint with the appropriate authority. If a complaint is not addressed, it can be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman.
Maritime Transportation Companies’ Obligations
Maritime passenger privileges entitle travellers, subject to conditions and exceptions, to a percentage cost refund if they are delayed.
Passengers who are disabled or have limited mobility are entitled to the following benefits:
Acceptance for carriage unless safety concerns warrant refusal; free assistance in ports for embarkation, disembarkation, and on-board vessels; but no caring functions
staff who have been educated to consider the needs of disabled people
assisting your National pet laws apply to dogs being transported.
Medical and mobility equipment to be required on board where it is appropriate for the voyage ports and vessels that are fully available, but there is no retrofitting requirement, so compliance can take time.
Reduced mobility refers to someone whose mobility is limited when using public transportation due to a physical disability (sensory or locomotor, permanent or temporary), an intellectual disability or impairment, or some other age-related cause of disability, and whose condition necessitates special care and adaptation to the service provided to all passengers.
Method for filing complaints and enforcing maritime laws
Enforcing the law is the responsibility of the Maritime Coastguard Agency. Complaints are handled in a three-tiered system:
Make a complaint to the operator to give them a chance to fix the issue.
submit a complaint to the appropriate voluntary complaint handling agency for the type of voyage in question.
Make a complaint to the MCA, which is in charge of enforcing the law.
Aviation Transportation Companies’ Obligations
Aviation passenger rights stipulate that appropriate assistance, both at the airport and on board the aircraft, must be delivered at no cost to the passenger. This includes, but is not limited to, the following items:
assistance with check-in and luggage assistance with baggage storage and retrieval assistance with emigration, customs, and security procedures
transporting up to two pieces of mobility equipment in addition to medical equipment to the restroom if necessary
Traveling with a friend: If you need assistance with eating, breathing, taking medicine, or using the restroom, you must travel with a companion. If you let the airline know at least 48 hours before departure, they will do all they can to make sure you sit next to each other.
Assistance dogs: On permitted roads, assistance or guide dogs are allowed in the cabin free of charge. Larger dogs will normally sit on the floor whilst lighter dogs can be carried in the owner’s lap.
You don’t have to be chronically or clearly disabled to get assistance, so anybody who has trouble getting about, whether due to a disability, age, or a temporary injury, will get assistance while flying.
Assistance should be requested at least 48 hours ahead of time, but if you offer less notice or none at all, fair attempts must still be made to help you.
Assistance should be requested from the airline at least 48 hours ahead of time, but if less notice is given, or no notice is given at all, appropriate attempts must be made to assist you.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s aviation regulator, will provide you with more precise knowledge about your rights while flying.
Method for filing complaints and enforcing regulations in the aviation industry
A designated complaints body must be in place to deal with any suspected violation of the rule, according to the law.
To begin, a person should contact the airline or airport directly with their complaint. If the person has done this and is unhappy with the answer they have received, they can:
Send their case to a body that handles alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
If an airline or airport does not have an ADR agreement, they will file a complaint with the CAA.
Take disciplinary action of your own.
Some airlines and airports are members of ADR, an organisation that has been accredited by the CAA for offering a high level of customer dispute resolution.
If a person is unhappy with an airline’s or airport’s response, or if they have not received a final response in 8 weeks or more, they may be able to take their complaint directly to an ADR body.
Only such grievances are handled by ADR bodies, but they include issues faced by disabled passengers or passengers with limited mobility while using air transportation services.
Both ADR bodies and the CAA will provide advice about whether the case is legitimate, and if so, will pursue it with the company in question. The CAA complaints team, on the other hand, is unable to force a decision on an airline, while CAA-approved ADR bodies can.