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Disabled people advice for travelling outwith Midlothian

Forward Mid works with Midlothian Council transport team to bring you the best suggestions for travelling Further afield.


Scottish Disability Equality Forum is proud to launch the Accessible Travel Hub. The Hub is a place for you to find information, articles and guidance on Accessible Travel anywhere in Scotland. http://accessibletravel.scot/

Some people find traveling a strain, if you are disabled that strain could get a lot worse. It could be something simple as a delay in traveling and this has a knock on effect for a diabetic as now the carbohydrate intake is affected, to being in a wheelchair and a replacement form of transport is used only to find out it has no wheelchair facilities. Here you will some tips on traveling beyond Midlothian

Scottish Citylink Coaches

For passengers with walking difficulties, the driver will assist you to climb a few steps into the bus and help you into your seat. You should purchase your ticket at Citylink in the usual way. However, if you normally use a wheelchair and you need to remain in it for your trip, please DO NOT PURCHASE your ticket on the website. Fully accessible coaches are being introduced across our network. At present the services offering accessible vehicles are;
Service M9 Aberdeeen - Glasgow/Edinburgh via Dundee
Service M90 Inverness - Edinburgh/Glasgow via Perth
Service 900 Glasgow - Edinburgh
Other routes and if you are a wheelchair user please call Telephone logo 0141 332 9841. Fully accessible coaches are being introduced across our network. Scottish Citylink now operate wheelchair accessible coaches on a selection of journeys, these coaches allow direct access for manual wheelchairs, battery powered wheelchairs cannot be carried.
For more information www.citylink.co.uk opens a new tab

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The majority of National Express coach services are now operated by fully wheelchair-accessible coaches which can convey a passenger in their wheelchair. Wheelchairs must be no larger than 1200mm * 700mm in size and be capable of being fully secured in the coach. For safety reasons, we therefore recommend that booking is made 36 hours in advance of travel so that we can check wheelchair compatibility. Customers can however travel on the day but we will still need to assess wheelchairs before setting off. For customers who can transfer from their wheelchair to the coach seat, we will accept lightweight manual wheelchairs for travel, subject to them being capably and safely stowed in the luggage hold of the coach. We regret that we are unable to accept manual wheelchairs that are more than 20kgs in weight. Mobility scooters can also be stowed, but they must be capable of being dismantled for carriage in the luggage hold. The heaviest part must not exceed 20kgs in weight. We strongly advise that you check with our Assisted Travel Helpline before travelling. Bookings and wheelchair/ scooter assessments can be arranged through our Assisted Travel helpline on Telephone logo 08717 818179 (calls cost 10ppm plus network extras) open between 08.00 and 20.00 Sunday to Saturday. Carriage and assistance is approved in accordance with our published code of practice, titled ‘Serving our Disabled Customers’ and available upon request from our Assisted Travel Helpline or at www.nationalexpress.com

Arranging assistance and buying a ticket
Our Assisted Travel Helpline is available by calling Telephone logo 08717 818179 and is open every day from 8 in the morning until 8 at night, 7 days a week (calls charged at 10p per minute plus network extras). Our dedicated team can give journey details, take reservations, sell tickets, agree the level of assistance required at each stage of your journey and advise on what can be provided. To make a reservation, contact our Disabled Persons Travel Help line on Telephone logo 08717 818178. A text phone is provided for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing on Telephone logo 0121 455 0086 for more information www.nationalexpress.com


Arrangements can be made for disabled passengers. We can usually arrange for staff to meet you at your departure station, accompany you to the train and see you safely on board. Similar arrangements can be made at your destination station and other stations if you need to change trains. For example, ramps can be provided for wheelchair users. We do not normally provide assistance at unstaffed stations, but if you need help alighting, let the Conductor/Ticket Examiner onboard know. ScotRail train services normally have staff available to help and all trains carry a portable ramp. For more information contact www.scotrail.co.uk and type in the name of the rail station.

There are a limited number of spaces available to wheelchair users on each train, it is important therefore that you recommend that customers book their space in advance.

Because scooters come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, many have problems on trains, including: tipping backwards on ramps; being heavier than the ramp's safe working load; or being the wrong shape to manoeuvre safely inside a carriage. These problems mean that some companies have trains that cannot carry scooters. So if you are a scooter-user who wants to travel by rail, you should contact the train company to check they can safely accommodate your scooter.

Please remember to contact us to confirm that all the stations and trains you want to use are accessible. If you require assistance please let them know at least 24 hours in advance. ScotRail Enquiries: Telephone logo 0800 912 2 901.


When you book, always tell your airline, travel agent or tour operator if you need assistance when you travel. Always get the name of a person who is responsible for the needs of anyone needing assistance. If you need assistance from airport or airline staff at any stage of your journey, you should always request this at least 48 hours before you fly. Airlines may ask you to complete an Incapacitated Passengers Handling Advice (INCAD) form and/or a Medical Information Form (MEDIF). These are standard forms used by many airlines to help staff organise any assistance or equipment you may need during your journey and to decide whether you are fit to fly. With some airlines, the INCAD and MEDIF are two parts of the same form.You can fill in the INCAD form yourself, but the MEDIF form must be completed by your doctor.You should contact the airline and discuss your disability or medical condition with them – even if your doctor says you are fit to fly – as different airlines have different policies about carrying disabled passengers and people with medical conditions. The airline will be able to give you any forms they require you to complete. You can also get these forms from some travel agents. Make sure these forms are filled in and that you keep a copy for your records.

Medical conditions that require MEDIF form and or INCAD form: Uncomplicated myocardial infarction, especially if you require oxygen. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis, especially if you had surgery for DVT or who have had DVT and are obese. Respiratory disease, especially if you require oxygen. Pregnancy, approaching 36 weeks or after. Ear, nose and throat problems, especially active middle-ear infections. Contagious infectious disease, you will not be allowed to travel if you have Tuberculosis, some other contagious medical conditions will be on a one to one evaluation. Diabetes mellitus does not require these forms to fly, insulin diabetics are normally required to have a letter of authorisation from their doctor to allow carriage of needles in their hand luggage.

Wheelchair Air Travel, Electric wheelchairs or Scooters cannot be carried, manual wheelchairs can be carried however getting insurance to take a wheelchair abroad is not readily available and are not normally covered on travel insurance. If possible ask you travel agent to hire a wheelchair to meet you at your destination, Check with the Red Cross as they can sometimes supply the hire of a wheelchair whilst abroad.

Remember these are just guideline for traveling, when you get to your destination it will be different from the area you have come from and attitudes to disabled people vary greatly from country to country.

How to pack to travel all over the world.

Carrie-Ann Lightley Wheelchair traveller8 Wheelchair Travellers share their knowledge on how they packed and travelled all over the world.

It’s no secret that a wheelchair makes packing a bit more complicated, but that doesn’t need to stop you from traveling!

To inspire more wheelchair users to travel and to improve everyone’s packing, we have talked with 8 experienced wheelchair travelers and asked them to share their best advice.


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