travelling on trains with a disability

Travelling On Trains With a Disability

  • February 24, 2020

Last week, BBC Local Radio broadcast an interview with a wheelchair user who wanted to set the record straight when it came to helping people with disabilities travel on the train. It was an insightful interview that made us aware of the troubles that disabled train users often encounter. One of the main points outlined how and when to help disabled users on the train, pointing out that members of the public should ask before trying to help somebody in a wheelchair or mobility scooter. This interview was aimed at giving the general public an insight into what it’s like travelling on trains with a disability. But, rather than advising the public on how to help, i thought it would be better to outline what a typical train journey looks like for people with disabilities.

travelling on trains with a disability

Before You Leave

To make travelling on trains with a disability go as smooth as possible, you need to make sure you prepare beforehand and find out the rules of the particular train line you’ll be travelling with. You can do this by calling the company or looking them up online eg. Mobility scooters Northern Rail. Each train line has their own rules but there are some things to consider regardless:

  • Make the trainline aware that you need assistance so they can organise help for you.
  • Be aware that most train lines only accept the following: manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs & folding mobility scooters.
  • There is probably a weight limit, too. Make sure your vehicle is under the weight limit for your train line.
  • It’s always better to travel with somebody as staff may not help you.

You’re not on your own, there are companies out there that focus on helping disabled people travel without any hassle. They’ll help you with booking tickets and organising personal assistance on the day. One such website is called CrossCountry trains that offer a service called Journey Care.

At the Train Station

Train stations are usually busy, a bit frantic and it seems like nobody is entirely sure of where they’re going. Because of this, it’s a good idea to arrive in plenty of time to compose yourself before finding your platform. There’ll be a member of staff to see the train off so make sure they’re aware that you need a ramp and give them time to set it up before you get on. Another thing to point out is that people may not be courteous of you and your needs so you need to be prepared for this. It’s every man for himself when it comes to train travel. When you’re nearing your stop, give yourself enough time to get off the train without panicking.

Making Railway Travel More Accessible

Even if you do follow this article and prepare as much as you can, you may still feel stressed and a bit lost when you’re at the train station and on the train. To improve railway travel for people with disabilities, rather than asking the person to do more, councils and train lines need to do more. There needs to be more of an effort to make railway travel more accessible to disabled people. Below are some ideas we came up with, let us know below what ideas you have to improve railway travel.

  • Trains with automatic ramps that don’t require disabled users to wait or hold up queues.
  • Separate tickets for disabled users who require extra assistance or specific seats.
  • More in-depth training for train station staff so they’re always fully equipped to help people disabilities on the platform.
  • A separate entrance or carriage that could be used by the lesser abled: mothers with prams, elderly people & disabled people.

What about travelling abroad? check out our article that explains how to enjoy mobility abroad by clicking the link.

mobility scooter bag with crutch holder

Mobility Scooter Accessories

  • February 12, 2020

Top 5 Essential Mobility Scooter Accessories

Buying a mobility scooter is similar to buying a car: it works great on it’s own, but you may require some extras to help you get the most out of it. Below is a list of essentials to help you make the most of your mobility scooter by enhancing the way you travel and the way you store your scooter. When we think of accessories, we usually just think it’s an upsell or something gimmicky. But it’s good to remember that having all these accessories isn’t vital, you should just choose the ones that benefit you and enhance your mobility. So without further ado, here is our top 5 list of mobility scooter accessories to help you get the most from your mobility scooter:

1. Weather Cover

Investing in a weather cover is a smart choice if you have a larger scooter you keep in the shed. Weather covers do what they say on the tin and fit most mobility scooters (check first). They’re also great to pack with you on long journeys if you plan to leave your scooter outside a shop.

Mobility scooter cup holder

2. Cup Holder

It’s good to stay hydrated, so if your mobility scooter doesn’t include a cup holder then this is a great investment. The purpose of this is to completely free up your hands so you can focus on your driving and stay safe.

mobility scooter weatherproof cape

3. Cape

Buy a cape for your mobility scooter, and thank yourself later. Mobility scooter capes are basically tailored anoraks that fit over both you and your scooter. This protects you from the rain and wind when you’re on the move.

mobility scooter bag with crutch holder

4. Bag With Crutch Holder

This is absolutely essential whether your scooter has a front basket or not. Never worry about storage again and, if you do require crutches, this is a great way to bring them on the move with you.

mobility scooter seat cushion

5. Seat Cushion

One of the only downsides to having a compact scooter is the seat that can sometimes be less than adequate, leaving you wondering if you’d be better off with a larger scooter. With a seat cushion you can enjoy all the comfort that comes with a larger scooter.

This list is in no particular order and some of the accessories mentioned in this list may not benefit you. However, we hope you found something useful that you haven’t considered before.

Yoga folding mobility scooter

Taking Mobility Scooters On Planes

  • February 7, 2020
Mobility abroad

A Guide to Taking Mobility Scooters on Holiday

Spring is approaching fast, signalling the time when many hit the holiday sites to nab a good deal for a summer getaway. When you’re booking a holiday, you’re thinking about finding the best deal, organising flights and deciding what you want to do whilst you’re there. Closer to the time you’re focus is on buying some new clothes, stocking up on sun cream and fantasising about being next to the pool in exactly 2 weeks, 4 days, 12 hours & 41 minutes time.

But as a mobility scooter user there’s something you’ve still not considered, your mobility. Perhaps you’re going to see some sights, or maybe you’re planning on spending your evenings strolling along the beach front. But, you know you get tired after a couple of minutes walking. You need a mobility scooter you can take with you and the options are limited. Read on to find out what to consider when it comes to taking mobility scooters on planes, as well as what type of scooter is best to take on your holiday.

The Yoga Folding Scooter

When it comes to travelling abroad, there’s one scooter that we’d recommend due to its lightweight design, easy folding mechanism & compact form factor. The Yoga Folding Scooter has a total weight of 26 Kg, ensuring you don’t have any troubles at the airport or during your stay. An ample range of 10 miles allows you to travel for hours on the Yoga Folding Scooter, allowing you to enjoy your day without fatigue getting in the way.

yoga folding mobility scooters on planes

Not only does the Yoga Folding scooter offer easy travel abroad, it also offers comfort which is something that’s vital when you’re on your holidays. Suspension on the Yoga soaks up bumps in the road so you can glide along and relax. It’s also durable, with an 18 stone max user weight, making it great for most users and one of the strongest folding scooters.

Key Features

  • 18 Max User Weight
  • 26 Kg Total Weight
  • 10 Mile Range
  • Suspension

5 Top Tips For Taking Mobility Scooters On Planes

1. Find An Appropriate Airline: In plenty of time before your holiday, try to find an airline that will accept your mobility scooter by looking online or ringing different airlines up.

2. Organise Help: Double check the day before you go to make sure the airport is aware and ready to assist you with your needs.

3. Help The Airline Staff Help You: Make sure airline staff know how to operate the folding mechanism of your scooter to prevent accidental damage.

4. Charge Your Scooter: be sure to charge your scooter fully the night before so you don’t get stranded anywhere at the airport.

5. Remember An Adapter: Finally, take an appropriate plug adaptor with you to make sure you can charge the scooter wherever you’re going.

We Hope This Helped

We hope this cleared up some of the questions and worries involved in taking mobility scooters on planes.

staying safe on a mobility scooter

Staying Safe on a Mobility Scooter

  • February 6, 2020

5 Tips for staying safe on a mobility scooter

Just bought a brand new mobility scooter? Getting a new mobility scooter is always exciting, especially if you’ve been housebound for a while. Most people can’t wait to get on the road once their scooter arrives and understandably so, but there are some important things you should know in order to make your first journey go as smooth as possible. So, whether you’ve never owned a mobility scooter before, or you’re a seasoned driver, you’re sure to find some of these tips about staying safe on a mobility scooter helpful.

staying safe on a mobility scooter

1. Make Sure You’re Confident

Don’t run before you can walk. Before you take your new scooter for a spin, make sure you’re confident driving it and if you’re unsure about any of the controls, read the manual. If you live on a quiet road, take the scooter for a little practice ride. However obvious this tip seems, it’s probably the most important to take into account, particularly if you own a road scooter and plan on travelling on the road. Being confident when travelling on the road is detrimental to keeping you safe.

Having confidence on the road is vital if you own a road scooter, so check out this link for more tips from the professionals at Motability: Road Safety For Scooters

2. Take a Working Mobile Phone

Before setting off anywhere, especially if you’re planning to travel far, it’s always a good idea to take a fully charged mobile phone or other means of contact with you. The reason we recommend doing this is because in a worst case scenario you may run out of battery or your scooter could break down, so it’s nice to have somebody to call for help. Having an emergency contact will put your mind at ease and allow you to enjoy your journey worry free.

3. Plan Your Route

Make sure you plan your journey before you set off anywhere you’ve never been before. This doesn’t mean you can’t go for a ramble about in the local park. All we mean is make sure you know you can get there safely, trying to avoid busy roads and rough terrain along the way. Also, if you’re considering trying to roll your scooter up a high kerb because it’s easier than finding a sloped kerb, don’t. Forcing your scooter to travel up a kerb can cause serious damage and is particularly dangerous on a 3-wheel scooter.

4. Always Pack Your Essentials

Important items to take with you:

  • Medication
  • Waterproof Coat
  • Food & Drink
  • Money
  • Sun Cream (if it’s sunny out)

Making sure you pack properly can make the difference between a good journey and a bad one. The best thing you can do to make sure you pack the essentials listed above. Bringing a waterproof coat with you may not seem that important but you can never trust the weather in Britain. On the other hand, in the rare event that the weather is nice, it’s important to bring sun cream with you because you’re always fully exposed to the sun on a mobility scooter.

5. Make Sure Your Scooter Is Fit For Travel

Always make sure your mobility scooter fit for travel, and is in a safe condition to use. Firstly, make sure you always fully charge the batteries (at least 8 hours) before setting off. Have a quick look at the tyres and make sure they’re not deflated or have any scuffs in to avoid getting a flat tyre on your journey. And finally, have a look to make sure there are no loose screws or parts anywhere.

Find out more about how to charge your batteries by clicking this link: Charging your mobility scooter

Mobility Scooter Service & Repair

  • February 5, 2020

Make your scooter go further with a service and repair

Mobility scooters are just like cars, they sometimes need a mobility scooter service and repair to ensure they’re safe. You’re about to find out the secret to keeping you mobility scooter like new and at peak performance. Of course if your mobility scooter breaks or a problem arises that you’re unsure of, it’s best to get in touch with your local mobility scooter store or the shop that you bought the scooter from for mobility scooter servicing. A mobility scooter breaking down is sure to put a damper on your day. With that in mind, the aim of this post is to advise on the best way to take care of your scooter. Helping your get into a routine that helps you make sure your scooter stays safe and reliable.

mobility scooter service repair

It Takes Two

Once you buy a mobility scooter, it’s your responsibility to take care of it and make sure you’re using it properly. The best way to ensure your scooter lasts as long as possible is by trying to prevent problems from happening before they get the chance. The worst thing you can do is neglect your scooter and leave it up to an engineer to fix. Keeping your scooter in check is a two sided effort, it’s not just the engineers responsibility to make sure your scooter is safe for travel.

What You Can Do

To minimise chances of a problem occurring with your scooter, here are some handy tips and regular checks you can conduct. This will ensure your scooter stays in good working order:

Look after your batteries

When it comes to scooters breaking down or not achieving their full range, the batteries are usually the culprit. You should take care of your batteries and keep them active by charging them for at least 8 hours after every use. If you’re not using your scooter, you should be charging your mobility scooter batteries at least once per week. Don’t worry about over charging the batteries as most mobility scooters these days have an auto switch-off mechanism for safety.

Be mindful of where you’re travelling

You should always be gentle with your scooter and try to avoid rough and uneven terrain at all costs. If you have a portable scooter with solid tyres, try to avoid cobbles and muddy tracks. Know your scooters limits in order to keep it stable, clean and dry.

Store your scooter safely

When storing your scooter overnight, be mindful of keeping it dry and as warm as possible. It’s ideal to have a shed for your scooter if it’s a larger scooter. If you have a folding or portable scooter, you should make an effort to bring it inside away from damp and keep the batteries warm (batteries can deteriorate in cold temperatures)

Conduct regular checks

It’s best practice to check your mobility scooter before and after each use. Make a checklist to ensure your scooter is safe for travel and isn’t damaged since the last time you used it. If your scooter’s caked in mud, it’s best to try and give it a clean to stop the mud causing decay.

What to check for: Loose parts, damage to tyres, beeping, battery cutting on and off, dirt in mechanism

For road scooters check: lights & indicators.

What The Engineers Can Do

If any problems arise with your scooter, even if it seems minor. Get in touch with your local mobility store and ask them about a mobility scooter service and repair. It’s always best to do this no matter how trivial the problem may seem because your safety is paramount. Talking to an engineer as soon as possible also reduces the risk of problems getting worse, so it’s something we recommend doing just in case.

Conduct thorough testing

An engineer can conduct thorough testing on your scooter to ensure it’s safe and ready for use. They can conduct a full ‘MOT’ on your scooter once every 6-12 months. They will do a far better job of checking it than you would doing it yourself.

Repair punctures

Engineers can repair punctures and even fill your tyres with a soft puncture-proof gel to prevent further punctures.

Replace parts on warranty

Most mobility scooters are sold with a warranty of at least 12 months. This warranty covers parts and should a part of your scooter require a mobility scooter service and repair, the engineers would be able to replace it for free.

Perhaps most importantly

Engineers can give advice on how to look after your scooter and even how to do some checks yourself. If you have any questions, just ask, they’re happy to help and there’s no better person to ask.

Valeting

A professional valet will leave your mobility scooter looking brand new. It’s not vital but it can help make you feel better and give your scooter a new lease of life. Whether you’re planning on selling it, or it’s just looking a bit tired, this is without a doubt the best way to make your scooter look new and sparkly.

Choosing the Right Mobility Scooter

  • February 5, 2020

Making Sure you choose a mobility scooter that’s right for you

Buying a mobility scooter is a big investment so of course you want to make sure you’re choosing the right mobility scooter. Many people buy a mobility scooter on a whim only to regret it later on when they realise they’ve spent their money on something that isn’t up to the job. This posts aims to outline some considerations to make before buying, the categories of scooter & what each scooter is best used for in an effort to help you avoid mistakes.

What To Consider?

choosing the right scooter emoji

There are many factors to consider before deciding which scooter is right for you. To help you with choosing the right mobility scooter, here are some of the most important factors to consider:

  • Your Weight: The maximum weight capacity of mobility scooters range from 14-30 Stone, so when choosing a mobility scooter this is the first thing to look for.
  • How Far You Want To Travel: What you’ll be using the scooter for determines how far you’ll want to travel on one charge. The travel range of a mobility scooter outlines how far it will travel on one charge.
  • What You’ll Use It For: The way you want to use your mobility scooter will determine what size and features you want from it, this is an important factor to narrow down the category.

Categories Of Mobility Scooter?

The best way to categorise mobility scooters when you’re trying to find the right one is by their function. On most mobility specialists websites, you’ll find that there are 4 main categories of mobility scooter to choose from. The 4 main types of mobility scooter are:

Portable/Boot Scooters

Expected Performance

  • Range: 10-18 Miles
  • Maximum User Weight: 14-23 Stone
  • Speed: 4 Mph

Portable scooters put a focus on being easy and hassle free to transport & manoeuvre. Portable scooters are usually compact, lightweight and sometimes feature a disassembly system that allows you to easily take it apart so it fits into the boot. Made for convenience, portable scooters usually feature off-board charging. This gives you the freedom to leave the scooter in the car and take the batteries inside.

Pavement Scooters

Expected Performance

  • Range: 18-25 Miles
  • Maximum User Weight: 18-27 Stone
  • Speed: 4 Mph

Pavement scooters are larger than portable mobility scooters and this coincidentally means that they offer a more substantial ride. Most pavement scooters have pneumatic tyres which offer a softer and more comfortable ride. Pavement scooters have a higher range on average than portable scooters, making them better suited to users who need to travel further. Pavement scooters are more durable too, with a high weight limit and a Captain seat for more a comfortable journey.

Road Scooters

Expected Performance

  • Range: 25-35 Miles
  • Maximum User Weight: 22-30 Stone
  • Speed: 4-8 Mph

Road scooters are capable of travelling on the road as well as on the pavement, they go twice as fast as the scooters in the other categories: 8 MPH, and they have more advanced features. Because they need to be road legal, they have some extras that are there to make your journey safer and more comfortable. With features such as suspension, headlights & indicators, road scooters offer the most comfortable and stable ride. This type of mobility scooter is intended as a replacement for a car so they’re capable of a high range. They allow you to travel all day locally and even to town without any bother.

Folding Scooters

Expected Performance

  • Range: 12-15 Miles
  • Maximum User Weight: 15-21 Stone
  • Speed: 4 Mph

Folding scooters are a fantastic choice if you require a scooter that feature a quick and easy folding mechanism that allows you to fit the scooter in your boot. Due to their compact size, they are best used in places that have smooth ground, such as shopping centres and around town. Folding scooters have either a manual or automatic folding mechanism and are the most convenient type of scooter on this list in terms of transporting in the car or on public transport.

It’s Up To You

Ultimately, it’s up to you when it comes to choosing the right mobility scooter. There’s a huge range to choose from online but we hope this helped send you in the right direction. If you buy a mobility scooter online and realise it’s not the right scooter for you, don’t worry. Mobility retailers are obliged to give at least 14 day returns, meaning you have time to change your mind.

Charging Your Mobility Scooter

  • February 4, 2020

Charging your mobility scooter properly

charging your mobility scooter

One of the most common questions I hear being asked by mobility scooter users relates to something that seems so simple, but it’s something that has sparked a never-ending debate with everybody chipping in. The intention of this post is to hopefully provide some clarity when it comes to charging your mobility scooter. This will help you get the most out of your batteries by keeping them healthy for as long as possible.

Keep In Mind

Like everything else, mobility scooter batteries don’t last forever. They are rechargeable but over time lose their capacity and will need replacing at some point. So if you know you’re charging your mobility scooter properly and you’re not getting much range, it may be time to start looking for new batteries. On the other hand, new mobility scooter batteries need to go through 15-20 full charges before they reach full potential, so don’t worry if your scooter isn’t going as far as you expected.

Also, every scooter is different. Always read the manual and make sure you read the charging instructions before proceeding to charge your scooter.

STICK TO A ROUTINE!!

There’s no easier way to keep your batteries healthy than by sticking to a routine. This is the best way to make sure charging your scooter doesn’t feel like a chore and helps you remember. The evening is the best time to charge your scooter so it’s ready for you to use the next morning.

How Often Should You Charge?

If you’re Using Your Scooter Everyday: If you use your mobility scooter every day, you should charge it every night (even if you only used some of the battery)

If you’re not using your scooter (maybe the weather’s bad): Still charge your scooter once per week to keep them active, this will help keep them healthy.

How Long For?

In most cases, a green light will show when your mobility scooter is charged. This may happen after just 4 hours but it doesn’t mean you should take it off charge.

Most mobility scooters are fully charged after 8 hours. But, if you have a larger mobility scooter it can sometimes take up to 12 hours to fully charge it.