Although many train systems in the US can accommodate scooters, that’s not the case overseas, especially on UK regional trains. Scooter-user Diane Holyoake found that out the hard way last week when she was denied boarded on her First Capital Connect train from Croydon to London.
To be fair, First Capital Connect isn’t the only rail system that won’t take scooters. In fact, in the UK, that’s pretty much the norm for full size scooters. Additionally, First Capital Connect is very up front about it all on their website.
According to their website, they cannot accept electric mobility scooters unless they can be folded down into lightweight manageable components and taken onto the train as luggage. Additionally, they prefer that passengers or their companions carry the folded scooters on and off the train; however staff assistance may be available upon request.
In other words, you have to be able to walk to board the train if you use a scooter. They will however carry manual and power wheelchairs up to 70 centimeters wide (27.5 inches) and 120 centimeters long (47 inches) and weighing less than 300 kilograms (661 pounds).
So be aware of the rules if you plan to explore the UK by train. You don’t want to be left at the station like Diane!