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Using transport with wheelchair - Carers UK Forum

Using transport with wheelchair

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hello to all,

My mum had a hip op a few weeks ago. She uses a wheelchair when we go out.
Before the op she could just about get in the car. We do not want to try getting her in the car just yet as she is still healing from operation. So I need to have a vehicle I can wheel her on to.
Apart from black cabs and buses, are there any other options? Do minicab services have accessible cabs?
Yes, a lot of mini cab companies do have wheelchair and/or disabled-friendly accessible vehicles but you will probably need to book them in advance rather than hoping they have one available when you ring to book at short notice.
Sharon_1805123 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:02 pm

Apart from black cabs and buses, are there any other options? Do minicab services have accessible cabs?
Some will do, if you use google maps (centred on where you want the cab from) you can search for all the local ones.

Like this:- https://www.google.co.uk/maps/search/wh ... .25z?hl=en
For regular wheelchairs you should be ok, plenty of different vehicles can take them with the user still in it. Those new euro taxi's spring to mind.. but seen my share of converted hummers around as well. So long as they are able to put that long belt around the user which is generally ok with those sorts of wheelchair as they are quite low bearing from the floor.

In my experience it becomes a different story with specialized wheelchair users.
Buses are out of the question, even the disabled access ones (not talking about inappropriate use of the bay either)
Which in turn means you can't use the train because you would still need the bus when you disembark, going back to the previous comment.

If we're lucky we'll get a hospital transport for appointments but often they run late and its like the inquisition proving that persons "eligibility" every time you book since the contract was taken up by another firm recently.

The main staple is booking transport privately (mini/short bus) but as you can imagine these vehicles are quite big in spite of their name for one person + companion as well as expensive, certainly not something you want to be doing regularly if you can help it.

In truth I hold the wheelchair service responsible equally because they didn't develop the equipment to properly reflect the needs of someone that has to be able to get out and make it to appointments via public transport. The things not even appropriate for use indoors unless you live in a warehouse (go figure the place it was assembled was more or less like that)
In our area we have a few voluntary schemes Dial a ride, a charity that has an adapted minibus, a ramp or lift on the backend to allow wheelchairs in.

You just phone up give a bit of notice and they will transport you doctors hospital shopping etc, Social Services should be able to advice or even your local doctors.

Our doctors has a massive noticeboard with dozens of help and support leaflets.
Dial a ride is nationwide but goes under a few different names in places and the criteria for use varies locally as well.

For example ours will not do hospital transport because the hospital provides it, however they will offer to transport you there to visit another person staying. Where as another borough has the service for over 85's only, but does all journeys including hospital appointments.. It varies.

It is still a resource to be used and step in the right direction but i would suggest not for everybody... you also have to consider many areas run the service voluntarily and the money raised goes directly on upkeep so theres alot of over subscription/shortage of drivers making it very difficult if for example you have a very complex caree who must have an escort at all times.

Its a good service for disabled people who can't access mainstream public transport but are otherwise independent/safe enough to get about on their own though.
Hi Sharon!

To add to what everyone has said about where to find transport, try Google "volunteer transport" or "volunteer drivers" (with your area name) because some charity groups and care services run what they call volunteer transport. We have one in my area and they are fantastic! They will come pick the person needing transport up and a companion, drivers will even push the chair for you if needed and the best thing about using this service is they either wait for you or agree to do an immediate call-back (if it's a local pick up and drop off they will go and do a few other runs then come right back for you).

You can also talk to your GP or the hospital department your mother needs to go to for her appointment and request using the hospital transport service. You would have to find out if she is applicable for this but if she is then they will send one of the smaller, white, ambulance transport van type vehicles to pick up and when done with the appointment as you leave you ask the reception desk to book her for transporting back home. This can be a long wait sometimes though - once when I was escorting a client to a hospital appointment they had us wait 5 hours for transport back.

Hope that helps!
Hi Sharon

Hope your Mum is doing well. We bought a great seat for passenger seat, it is a bit like a microwave turntable, Mum sits on it and then it tuns without her having to twist torso, legs or hips. Could not transporter without it.

Good Luck