One of the bugbears of the users of Manchester’s Metrolink is being addressed from today as people will be able to take their approved mobility scooters on Metrolink trams, under a new trial permit scheme.
From 31 March, people who live in Greater Manchester and hold an English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) Disabled Person’s Pass or a TfGM Travel Voucher pass will be able to apply for a permit to use their mobility scooter on Metrolink.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Mobility scooters have become more common and are now a popular choice of travel for many people with disabilities but until recently there was no national guidance on how they should be accommodated on public transport.
“So we welcomed last year’s recommendations, published by Rica and promoted by the DfT, which provided the foundations for this trial. I really hope it makes a difference and is a success so that we can look at introducing it on a permanent basis.”
Peter Cushing, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, said: “This initial six-month trial will help us to manage the introduction of mobility scooters on to the network with one eye on introducing a permanent scheme.
The permit will be an official sticker on the mobility scooter chassis that contains a part of the user’s ID number from either their ENCTS Disabled Person’s Pass or their TfGM Travel Voucher pass.
Cushing added that
“The photo IDs will give Metrolink staff a quick and easy way of making sure that both the user and their scooter have been assessed and accepted for the scheme.”
Mobility scooters will have to meet set conditions, including size and turning circle, for safe use in and around the network in order to qualify for the scheme.
Customers will also be assessed, in a process supported by ShopMobility Manchester, to ensure they are able to safely manoeuvre their approved scooter around and within a tram’s wheelchair space and around the network’s raised platforms.
For more information about the scheme, visit www.metrolink.co.uk/mobilityscooters