Hampshire is a great place to explore! Hampshire is home to the rolling hills of the New Forest, the great shopping experiences in Southampton, and the historical sites to explore in Winchester. Whatever your interests, there is something for everyone to do in Hampshire. However, if you are elderly or disabled, sometimes it can be difficult to get appropriate transport or assistance to your desired destination in Hampshire. If you or your Live-in carer has struggled to find suitable, accessible transport options in Hampshire for you, have no fear! We have compiled the options for you below so you can get out there and explore in Hampshire today.
There are many accessible private taxis available in Hampshire. One of our favourites is Driving Miss Daisy. Driving Miss Daisy is an accessible private taxi service who also offer a community companion service. They can escort you to:
The airport or holiday destination
School or college
Every day journeys.
Their aim is to “empower people to get out and about, socialise and enjoy all that list has to offer” (Driving Miss Daisy, 2021). They are based in Portsmouth but offer their service all over the UK. They cater for passengers with special needs, learning or physical disabilities, health or medical issues, and even for those who just need an extra bit of support. Their drivers are licenced, trained, compassionate, and reliable. They operate on a pre-book service, so make sure to plan in advance!
If you want to take a spontaneous journey, you could get the bus. Busses which carry more than 22 passengers in Hampshire and across the UK must be accessible to wheelchair users in accordance with the Public Service Accessibility Regulation (2000). Busses will have either a powered or manual ramp, operated by the bus driver, so you can board safely. Accessible busses must have at least 1 wheelchair space, which is usually located in the front of the bus for easy access.
You can also get cheaper travel by applying for a disabled person’s or older person’s bus pass. There are options to include a companion on your disabled person’s bus pass, so if you have a live-in carer or would like a companion to accompany you on your journey, this could be a great option for you. You can be eligible for one of these bus passes if you meet your local council’s criteria. To find out the criteria to be eligible for a disabled persons bus pass in Hampshire, please click this link.
Trains are a fast and easy way to get around Hampshire. However, some train stations have more accessible features than others. To have a successful and problem-free journey, it is important to find out if the stations you will be visiting have the accessible features you require. Luckily, there are many websites for you or your live-in carer to look at that detail the accessibility features of train stations in Hampshire and across the UK. One of our favourites is National Rail’s Access Map. The National Rail Access Map illustrates if a train station has step free access, partial step free access, accessible toilets, and accessible changing rooms.
If you have a live-in carer, they will be able to assist you on your journey. However, if you do not have a live-in carer or would just like some extra assistance on your journey then you can request assistance 24 hours a day by contacting Passenger Assist on freephone 0800 0223720. Please bear in mind this must be arranged at least 6 hours before your journey.
You can also apply for a Disabled Persons Railcard, which will get you 1/3 off train travel for you and one other person. To qualify for this rail card, you must meet the criteria which is detailed on the railcard website. If you have a Disabled Persons Rail Card you are also eligible to claim some great offers that you can enjoy while out and about such as saving 5% on Cottages.com or saving 20% on Virgin Experience Days.
Getting out and about is very important to one’s physical and mental well-being and this should not be harder to achieve because you or someone you know has a disability. By utilising the information in this article we hope that planning and executing your travel in Hampshire alone, with a companion, or with your Live-in carer will, be an easy experience.