If something goes wrong on your journey

Knowing what to do when your travel plans go wrong can help you avoid problems as a disabled traveller.

Planning your journey

If you can, plan your journey in advance and check for changes before you leave. This will allow you time to rearrange your trip if there are issues that could affect you, such as roadworks and rail replacement buses.

Ways to plan and get assistance

Preparing for a last-minute journey

Updates on your journey

Check your local transport provider’s helpline, app, website or social media pages for updates on your journey. If you’re travelling by train, National Rail Enquiries website is a useful source of information on journey times and delays.

Getting updates on changes affecting your journey

Checking your other travel options before you leave will make you more confident if there are delays or cancellations.

Finding accessible transport

Equipment breakdown

Find out if there's anything you can do if your equipment breaks down. Are there any charging or help points you could use? Could someone pick up your equipment and get it to a repair centre?

Asking staff for help on public transport

Motability vehicles

If you have electric wheelchair or mobility scooter from Motability and it breaks down, you will be covered by their breakdown assistance.

Breakdown assistance for electric wheelchairs and Motability scooters

Medical issues

If you have a medical condition, carry information with you that will inform others, such as transport staff or emergency services, in case you need help.

If you’re on medication for a condition, bring it with you in case you miss a scheduled dose due to travel delays.

If you have an accident while travelling on public transport, ask staff or other passengers to help you. Staff should be on hand to give first aid.

If you need urgent assistance, use the passenger alarm. This is usually near the wheelchair space on trains, on platforms or near doors.

Asking for directions or assistance while travelling

Asking staff for help on public transport

Emergencies

If an emergency such as a crash or terror incident happens, listen to instructions from staff and emergency services as they'll be trained to deal with the situation.

Tell people if you have additional needs, particularly if your condition or impairment is not visible.

Anti-social behaviour

Text the British Transport Police (BTP) on 61016 if you are concerned about other people’s behaviour towards you. Visit the BTP website for more details about how to use the service.

Dealing with negative attitudes from other passengers

Asking for help

The most important thing you can do if something goes wrong on your journey is to ask for help.

Be clear about what assistance you need. This will help you get the right support to help you finish your journey, especially when you’re dealing with transport staff.

Staff should be trained to assist you. Transport operators have a duty to help you get to your destination if you’ve booked assistance in advance.

If your booked train assistance does not turn up

Knowing your options and rights as a disabled traveller (GOV.UK) can help make you more confident when asking for support.

Complaining if you do not get the support you’re entitled to

Your feedback can help transport operators improve their service. Tell them what went wrong and why. And ask what steps they will take to make things better for disabled travellers.

Complaining about public transport

Last reviewed by Scope on: 21/03/2019

Was this page helpful?

We're sorry to hear that.

Tell us how we can improve it

More on transport

Opens in a new windowOpens an external siteOpens an external site in a new window