CPT Code for the use and acceptance of Mobility Scooters on low floor buses

The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) is recognised by Government as the voice of the bus, coach and light rail industries, and the focus for consultation on national and international legislation, local regulations, operational practices and engineering standards.

CPT Code for the use and acceptance of mobility scooters on low floor buses adapted to carry wheelchairs:

Bus operators are committed to making scheduled bus services accessible to as many people as possible and this code is designed to assist in helping operators in developing a policy to enable mobility scooters to be used on their services.  Mobility scooters are used by an increasing proportion of the population and are not built to recognised common standards.

This code has been developed jointly by CPT and the Department for Transport and is designed to be the industry standard for the carriage of mobility scooters on scheduled bus services outside London. Its aim is to reduce the scope for “on the bus” disagreement and disputes.

Operators who adhere to this code should make this publicly known, particularly to groups representing people with mobility difficulties.

Requirements for Operators

There is no legal requirement to carry Mobility Scooters which are carried at each operator’s individual discretion.

“Class 2”  scooters with 3 or 4 wheels will be accepted provided they are no more than 600mm wide and 1000mm long, with a turning radius not exceeding 1200mm, and subject to the other criteria set out herein.  For ease of recognition, drivers should be issued with a handy card “recognition guide” to identify “Class 2” and “Class 3” scooters.

The weight of the scooter plus occupant must be within the safe working limit (SWL) of the ramp fitted to the vehicle.As a general rule the ramps fitted to vehicles have a safe working limit of 300kg. The SWL is identified on the bulkhead in each vehicle or on the actual ramp itself. “Class 2” scooters generally weigh 65 kg, leaving 235kgs (approx 37 stones) allowance for the occupant.  It should be for the driver’s discretion to confirm that the mobility scooter and occupant are within the SWL for the ramp.  If the driver considers the weight to be in excess of this, then the intending passenger should be politely refused entry onto the vehicle and offered an appropriate explanation.

“Class 3” scooters are larger and are capable of travelling at 6-8 mph.  These are not designed to be carried by bus and should therefore be refused for carriage. They can easily be identified, as they must be fitted with front/rear lights, hazard warning lights, and a manual brake.

Operators must ensure that Mobility Scooter users have their scooter assessed and approved as suitable for carriage on their vehicles. This approval needs to cover both the design of the scooter and the ability of the user to control and manoeuvre it safely.

Approval should be issued in the form of a credit card sized photographic “permit for travel” which should be for a fixed duration (not more than 5 years) as users’ health and abilities may alter over time. The permit will also contain the conditions of use and the user should show this permit to the driver on boarding the vehicle. This standard permit once accepted and issued by one operator should be accepted by all other operators who have signed up to the code.

Requirements for Users of Mobility Scooters

All users of mobility scooters who are prospective passengers must obtain prior approval of operators and obtain a standard “permit for travel” prior to their scooter being carried on any bus.

Mobility scooter users must be assessed and receive on-bus training from the operator before travelling on the bus for the first time.

As part of this training, users should be advised about the prevalence of low floor vehicles with ramps and advised that where such a vehicle is not available and a step entry vehicle is in service, it will not be possible for them to be transported.

The user must be trained by the operator in manoeuvring up and down the ramp, and within the vehicle.  The ramp must be accessed head on when boarding and alighting the vehicle to reduce the risk of accidents.  Only once the  operator is satisfied that the user can perform these tasks safely and in a reasonable period of time should the “permit to travel” be issued to the user.

Once on board, users should put their mobility scooter in the designated wheelchair space, reversed up to the backrest.  The scooter motor must be switched off and the scooter parked in gear to avoid movement. If the wheelchair space is already occupied by a wheelchair, it will not be possible for the scooter user to travel.

It is a requirement that the passenger remains on the mobility scooter once it is parked in the designated wheelchair space, using the handrails provided to assist with safety and stability.

The user should be advised that the scooter will only be carried provided that it does not pose a danger to other occupants of the vehicle.  The user should be advised that the scooter must therefore be maintained in good working order, that no battery or electrical or mechanical equipment should be exposed or be leaking any fluid, is not modified or customised such that it represents an obstruction or other hazard to other passengers, and that the scooter should not be overloaded with any items which would make the scooter unstable (e.g. shopping bags).

Bus operators reserve the right to withdraw the permit to travel in the event of misuse of the mobility scooter, by the holder of the permit, which results in damage or injury to other passengers and/or the vehicle.

Driver Training for all PCV drivers

The acceptance of mobility scooters on low floor buses adapted to carry wheelchairs must be included in any disability awareness training course delivered as part of Driver CPC.

Drivers should be:

  • advised of the permit system and the assessment process that each mobility scooter has gone through before being issued with a permit to enable them to use the mobility scooter on low floor buses.
  • advised of the technical capabilities of “Class 2” mobility scooters and which ones are acceptable for use on the vehicle.
  • issued with a handy “recognition guide” showing the common types of accepted “Class 2” scooters, and the prohibited “Class 3” designs.
  • reminded of the importance of parking the vehicle at bus stops parallel and close to the kerb to enable the safe use of the vehicle ramp.
  • trained in a safe system of work for safely deploying and stowage of the vehicle ramp.
  • advised of the emergency procedures to be adopted in the event of the customer getting into difficulties whilst trying to board or alight from the vehicle.
  • reminded to advise customers before they board with a mobility scooter, that they must approach the ramp head on when boarding or alighting to eliminate the risk of tipping.

Note: users of wheelchairs which conform to the standard reference size will continue to be carried on suitable low-floor vehicles subject to the designated space being available.

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