Earlier this year the Confederation of Passenger Transport and the Department for Transport launched a Code of Conduct for the carriage of mobility scooters on low floor buses. This had previously been something of a "grey area", not being subject to legislation, and the increasing use of mobility scooters had led to some disagreement and conflict about their suitability for carriage by bus. Introducing the Code has sought to address this.
There remains no legislation governing the carriage of mobility scooters on local buses but it is clear that the design of modern vehicles makes them suitable for the carriage of scooters not exceeding a specified size and weight. Following extensive consultation, and at the request of the Department for Transport, the Confederation of Passenger Transport developed a voluntary Code of Conduct for adoption by its members (which provide over 85% of the UK's local bus services) and by other operators. Take up thus far has been considerable, with most major operators having adopted the Code.
What this means is that users of mobility scooters who want to travel by bus need to contact their local bus company for an assessment.
Scooters must be of a Type 2 design (rather than the road-legal Type 3).
The scooter will be checked to ensure that the scooter's dimensions and the combined weight of scooter and user are within the limits prescribed by the Code, to ensure that they can be carried safely.
The scooter user will be asked to board a bus in a controlled environment, to move to the wheelchair area of the bus, and to alight from the bus, to ensure that they are able to control the scooter in a safe manner so as not to endanger themselves or other passengers.
Provided that they pass this assessment, a pass will be issued bearing the photograph of the scooter user.
This will allow them to use the low floor bus services of the operator conducting the assessment, plus those of any other UK operator that has signed up to the Code, subject to the vehicle having capacity.
For the avoidance of doubt, users of electric wheelchairs that do not exceed the standard reference wheelchair dimensions need not be assessed and will be accepted for travel on low floor buses whenever there is capacity to accommodate them.
For further information please contact the Confederation of Passenger Transport on 020 7240 3131.