Thank goodness for that!
I might write a lot, but when it comes to attending MDUK events I’ve missed a lot that I’d have liked to have gone to. London is a little further away than convenient, and transport isn’t something I’ve paid much attention to beyond essential travel. For the past few weeks, that has changed.
Here’s what I have discovered:
Despite some shocking statistics on the reliability of booked assistance, the major stations seem very well prepared for wheelchair users. Simply book your ticket, ring for assistance ahead of time, and report to the desk to let them know you’re ready to board. Here’s some handy information.
The staff I’ve met are all friendly and helpful, and since I’ve done 3 trips to London in the space of a month, they’re starting to get to know me. The ramps are a bit steeper than I was expecting, but they are perfectly safe. It’s a case of 5 seconds of thinking “Eeek!” and then you’re aboard/on the platform.
Train travel isn’t cheap, however it is a little cheaper if you apply for a disabled person’s rail card.
If you’re travelling on MDUK business, reasonable travel costs may be paid back.
There are some very good wheelchair accessible taxis in London, but make sure you double check that you and they have the same pick up point in mind. A building or road can have more than one door, so do your Google Streetview-ing first.
Reasonably priced, relatively speedy. I don’t like the uncertainty of not having it pre-booked – what if there are no vehicles available? – but would use it again.
Yet to attempt. Looked like an oven yesterday.
Open Insurance on a Motability vehicle
This allows your friends, family, or carers to drive your Motability vehicle for you without being specifically named on your insurance policy. This very handy indeed, but they don’t advertise it on the website, you have to ring and request it. About 4 times. It’s worth the effort, as it means that the open road is forever yours.
If I could go back in time a couple of years, I would tell myself to give it a go. A friend of mine encouraged me years ago and I was adamant trains were a bad idea. I was wrong. Go for it!