Mobility scooter needs a bus permit

My mobility scooter needs a bus permit

I want to see your scooter permit

In late July as I was getting onto a bus at High Wycombe the Arriva bus driver said “The mobility scooter needs a bus permit. Can I see it”

Arriva are responsible for running all the buses in the towns close to where I live. I have to use the buses because double vision makes driving an interesting experience. I frequently travel by bus.

This time no permit so no journey.

To cut a long story short

I had to catch the next bus after persuading the management of Arriva buses that this was news to me. The same problem arose later on the same day at another bus station. Now my mobility scooter needs a bus permit!.

Oh my God is this more petty bureaucracy? I already have a bus concession pass but I had a feeling there was not going to be a swift conclusion to the bus permit story.

The next day

I ‘phoned Arriva customer support and explained my problem. They asked me some simple questions about the Travelscoot and promised me someone would visit me and assess it. Three weeks later and I am still deafened by the silence.

My mobility scooter needs a bus permit

An Arriva bus

After three weeks

I ring up Arriva customer services again. I spoke to a different person this time and I told them my story. The agent gave me an incident number and said that Hemel Hempstead bus depot would give me a ring within a few days.

Two weeks later

  1. Not heard from Hemel Hempstead bus depot.
  2. Google did not know their phone number.
  3. Telephoned Arriva customer services but no response
  4. I was getting cross.

Now I ring Travel Line

They suggested I contact my county council and ask to speak to the Department for a mobility scooter bus permit. Apparently buses now require a bus permit to show that I can manoeuvre a mobility scooter. Incidentally telephone numbers for bus depots are ex-directory for security reasons.

Then its the County council

No use but they suggested I phone up Hemel Hempstead bus station and gave me the phone number. I rang it but the number is for a company called Blizzard which is nothing to do with Hemel Hempstead bus station. I was getting cross.

Back to Arriva customer support

I phone up Arriva and have to wait 15 minutes to speak to someone.

By now steam was coming out of my ears because I had spent over two hours on the phone.

Finally I spoke to an Arriva customer services agent. I quoted the original incident number but the agent could not track it down.  The agent was quite smart and realised a zero was missing from the incident number, not too sure who to blame for that one.

Defused my anger

The agent realised I was not a happy bunny and took some more details. The request for a bus permit was sent to Hemel Hempstead bus depot. I was promised they would get back to me that day. Need I say that I am still waiting for a phone call.

Mobility scooter needs a bus permit

I have to sort out this problem. Has anything like this happened to you with a class 2 mobility scooter? Feel free to write in and tell me your story.

Sept 2017

 

14 responses to “Mobility scooter needs a bus permit”

  1. DavidR1 says:

    Same problem here with Arriva. I live in Herts as well. I was meant to have my Bus test today. Basically they would ring me to meet at midday. OK I am still here waiting for my bus test. I was told to get my photos rewatch if I pass the bus test then I would be handed my bus pass. I have already had to trade my other scooter in because although it met the requirements of Arriva overall, the local depot has said no they subscribe to a different set of rules. ???? So I will be on the phone tomorrow to find out what is going on.

    • Hello,

      I have for the time being given up pursuing this matter. Arriva customer service are totally useless and the bus drivers do not dwemand to see a permit. I need to try again but suspect it will be more wasted time

      Arriva need to sort this out and get it working properly from their end

  2. I think I’d just lift mine in and tell the driver to call the polit bureau. I lift mine in and out of taxis, so why not buses? I have to admit that this sort of story has scared me off using mine on buses so far but one day I will have to and I won’t have a permit. If it’s not in the way what’s the issue? Do prams need permits? A TravelScoot is no bigger – in fact it’s probably smaller than some. Absolutely crazy. For a tiny TravelScoot this is discrimination really.

    • Hello,

      I suspect that any form of public transport is going to need some proof that the scooter is is suitable to go on the bus/train and that you can drive it. Travelscooter is fine but some scooters are big, heavy (70 – 100 K + rider) and cumbersome. I do agree about discrimination but quite soon I can see that we are going to have to ‘man-up’. Luckily people can see that there is no need to ask for a permit for a Travelscoot

      I can see another article coming up about this quite soon. Telling people what to do.

  3. Allan McMillan says:

    A huge corporation like Arriva joins a scheme that sounds sensible. It make no efforts to inform its passengers; then instructs its drivers to refuse them boarding, unless they have by an unknown method found out that Arriva has joined the scheme.
    They must allow scooters until they have adequately publicised the change. Disgaceful!

  4. Alasdair Baxter. says:

    Yes, I had a similar difficulty with Nottingham City Transport. However, they were much more efficient. They made an appointment to meet me at a designated bus stop but despite getting there in time, nobody turned up. However, they did phone me and arranged a meeting the following week. A relatively elderly bus turned up with nobody on board except a driver. I had to drive my scooter up a ramp into the bus but the TravelScoot didn’t have the necessary power. (It reminded me of when I took my driving test on a 1928 Austin 7 some sixty odd years previously. It didn’t have the power to do a hill start so I had to do a three-point turn on the hill and do the hill start in reverse which is a lower gear than first. I passed.) The incline on the ramp was such that I fell backwards and had to be stopped from falling on to my head by the combined efforts of the bus driver and my wife. In the event, I got off the scooter and pushed it manually up the ramp and on to the bus. I had to do a few manoeuvers and I was told I passed the Scooter Driving Test and a bus permit would follow in due course. It did but I was never asked for it since then. Apparently, the permit is accepted by all the major bus companies in the UK. Incidentally, some railway companies want me to apply for a permit to be allowed to take my scooter unfolded on to their trains.

    • Hello,

      Your story gives me hope that Arriva will get out and do something eventually. Driving test sounds interesting.

      Incidentally when taking a Travelscoot up a slope you must lean forward, basically keep your body vertical. Remember it is rear wheel drive plus your weight is towards the rear so there is a tendency for the front wheels to lift up and the whole thing to go over backwards. Don’t worry it has happened to mew as well.

  5. David Jeffrey says:

    I had a similar experience in Edinburgh a couple of years ago. The buses there are all equipped with ramps, but when I tried to board on my Travelscoot I was told “It’s not a wheelchair”. The driver would not let me on.
    I wrote a letter of complaint, as did some friends, to Lothian Transport. Possibly as a result of that (or maybe just coincidentally) now you can use certain smaller mobility scooters on buses in Edinburgh, but a permit is required. Getting one is easy, fortunately – but it means visiting one of Edinburgh’s Travel Centres and waiting a couple of weeks for the permit to arrive. Very inconvenient if you are a visitor.
    I think it would be sensible for the UK to have some standard, nation wide, permit for class 2 scooters. Hopefully one it is straightforward to obtain!

    • Hello,

      My sister lives in Edinburgh and has told me all of her trials and tribulations using a mobility scooter on the bus system. She used to use a Travelscoot because of chronic hip problems caused by arthritis. Hre Travelscoot is in hibernation at the moment

  6. Ted Phillips says:

    I tried to board a Metro Bus in Horley to travel to Crawley for a computer lesson. The driver would not let board unless I had a Scooter permit. I did not know a permit was needed. Called Metro buses and eventually after three weeks an inspector came to the house and escorted me onto a bus and showed me the procedure for boarding the bus and the alcove on the bus reserved for Scooter and wheelchair users. Same in London. TFL sent two delightful people to escort me and show me the ropes. Both Metro and TFL gave me a Scooter permit as soon as they were sure that I understood the procedure for boarding buses.
    The Scooter needs to be not more than a metre long. Otherwise you may have difficulties using it on the bus.

  7. M. Redman says:

    World gone mad. Nobody cares about you at all.
    Hope resolved soon.

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