Two men travelling by coach

Accessibility and inclusion

Everything you need to know about accessibility and inclusion at National Express

  Customer information

The mobility lounge in London Victoria coach station is closed until further notice due to covid 19 restrictions. Please contact 03717 818181 or addl@nationalexpress.com for any assistance required.

Our aim is to create an accessible service which is inclusive of all our customers and their needs.

We consistently receive feedback and use this to review our processes and practices so we can continue to improve these services for all.

Code of practice for disabled customers

On this page, you can discover all you need to know about accessibility and inclusion for customers at National Express and how we can make your journey better.

With over 21 million customer journeys every year, we are committed to continually improving the service we provide. We will always listen to customer feedback to make sure we get things right. We monitor the processes we have and amend them as necessary to maintain high levels of service for our disabled customers. 

       Seat

We are committed to ensuring that all customers are treated with respect by all our staff. Our staff are trained to deliver great customer service which includes a commitment to equality. We also provide disability awareness training for our staff who deal directly with the travelling public or issues relating to the travelling public.

Our aim is to deliver an outstanding service to every customer, every time and to ensure everyone can make use of our services, as long as it is safe to do so.

We also give advice and guidance to our station staff and drivers on how they can best serve our disabled customers.

Journey assistance cards

We have created a selection of journey assistance cards to help passengers explain to our staff and drivers that they may need assistance, are unable to wear a mask, or may have a high temperature due to medical reasons excluding Covid-19.

Download journey assistance cards

Information and guidelines for wheelchair users

We welcome and appreciate feedback about our services and will always listen to feedback regarding accessibility and inclusion. As a result, we're making improvements these include some clearer guidelines which can be found below.

We are also reviewing our other communications and reminding all our drivers, coach station staff and ticket office staff of our policy. We look forward to welcoming on board as many wheelchair users as we are able to, in accordance with our policy.

If you are a wheelchair user and are booking travel with us in advance or at the time of travel, we need to carry out certain checks to ensure we can provide travel. These include:

  • that the wheelchair is compatible with the space on the coach
  • that the combined weight of the passenger and the wheelchair do not exceed the maximum weight capacity of being lifted by the wheelchair lift;
  • that the stops at which the passenger wishes to board and alight the coach are accessible stops at which the wheelchair lift can be deployed; and
  • that the particular coach on which the passenger wishes to travel is not already fully booked.

You are not required to book in advance, however we recommend that you contact us on the following local rate telephone number: 03717 81 81 81 (lines open 9am - 5pm 7 days a week) 36 hours in advance of travel to give us time to carry out these checks, if you wish to book travel on the day we will make all reasonable efforts to carry out these checks on the day. If all checks are clear, we will be able to complete the booking.

Arranging assistance

We have a dedicated team to support customers, you can contact our Assisted Travel Team to talk through any assistance needs on 03717 81 81 81 (lines open 9am - 5pm 7 days a week), or email addl@nationalexpress.com. More details can be found on our Contact Us page

Coach Station Facilities

To download or view a full list of facilities, including accessibility features available at our coach and bus stations, please see our Facilities Directory. Alternatively please contact our Assisted Travel Team. We also have some of our sites listed on AccessAble, which includes more details of the accessibility of our sites.

Stops where the lift can be deployed

This list details our most popular stops where the wheelchair lift can be deployed and is not inclusive of all stops National Express serve. If a stop you need isn’t listed please contact our assisted travel team on 03717 818181 (option 3) (lines open 9am - 5pm 7 days a week) or email addl@nationalexpress.com and we will check for you.

Accessible stops

This list details is our most popular accessible stops and is not inclusive of all stops National Express serve. If you cannot see a stop that is local to you please call us on 03717 818181 (option 3) (lines open 9am - 5pm 7 days a week) and we will check for you.

  • Bath
  • Birmingham
  • Birmingham Airport
  • Blackpool
  • Bournemouth
  • Bradford
  • Bridgwater
  • Brighton (Coach Station)
  • Bristol
  • Bristol Airport
  • Cambridge Parkside (City Centre)
  • Cambridge (Trumpington Park & Ride)
  • Canterbury
  • Cardiff
  • Cardiff University
  • Cheltenham
  • Chester
  • Chesterfield
  • Chippenham
  • Cirencester
  • Coventry
  • Derby
  • Edinburgh
  • Exeter
  • Fareham
  • Gatwick Airport (North)
  • Gatwick Airport (South)
  • Glasgow
  • Gloucester
  • Guildford - Park Barn
  • Heathrow Airport
  • Heathrow Airport (T4)
  • Heathrow Airport (T5)
  • Hemel Hempstead
  • Hull
  • Ipswich
  • Leeds
  • Leicester
  • Liverpool One Bus Station
  • London (Finchley Rd)
  • London (Hammersmith)
  • London (Liverpool Street Stn)
  • London (Marble Arch, for Stansted)
  • London (Marble Arch)
  • London (Stratford)
  • London (Sutton - Rail Stn)
  • London Victoria
  • Loughborough
  • Luton
  • Luton Airport
  • Manchester
  • Manchester Airport
  • Mansfield
  • Middlesbrough
  • Milton Keynes Coachway
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Newport (S.Wales)
  • Northampton
  • Norwich
  • Nottingham
  • Oxford
  • Peterborough
  • Plymouth Coach Station, Armada Way
  • Poole
  • Portsmouth, The Hard, Interchange
  • Preston [Lancashire]
  • Ringwood
  • Sheffield
  • Sheffield (Meadowhall)
  • Southampton
  • Stansted Airport
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Sunderland
  • Swansea
  • Swindon, New Bridge Square
  • Taunton
  • Thetford
  • Torquay
  • Winchester
  • Woking
  • Wolverhampton
  • York - This stop is accessible in all directions and will pick up and drop off from York rail station, stop RC. 

Digital Accessibility

National Express recognises the importance of making its web services available to the largest possible audience and has attempted to design and develop this website to be accessible by all users. We have recently completed an accessibility review of our website and have identified areas which need development.

To book coach travel online, please use the Journey Planner on our homepage for our most up to date booking experience. We are working to make our website accessible for all of our customers and welcome feedback on how we can improve.

Where possible this website has been coded to comply with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Guidelines Priority Levels 1, 2 and 3 (Conformance Level "AAA").

National Express will continue to test future releases of this site and remain committed to maintaining its compliance with appropriate accessibility guidelines and serving the widest possible audience for our services.

For questions about our continuing efforts to make web-based information accessible to all users, or to report an accessibility problem on any of our pages, please contact us.

Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

We are now taking part in the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme.

Living with a Hidden Disabilities can make daily life more demanding for many people, but it can be difficult for others to recognise, acknowledge or understand the challenges faced. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower suggests happiness, positivity and strength and intends to allow everyone with Hidden Disabilities to choose to be subtly visible when they need to be.

For anyone who would like a lanyard please contact our assisted travel team on 03717 81 81 81 (lines open 9am - 5pm 7 days a week), or email addl@nationalexpress.com. Further information on the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme can be found here.

 

The Code of Practice

This code applies to all disabled customers and those with reduced mobility. We recognise that disabilities and/or conditions are not always visible. If you have any reasonable adjustments or accessibility requirements please let us know and we will always aim to help wherever we can.

1. Arranging assistance

Our Assisted Travel Team

Our dedicated Assisted Travel Team offers travel support by providing journey and booking information and, subject to availability, they can reserve you a front seat and/or the dedicated wheelchair space. They can also agree the level of assistance that may be required at each stage of your journey and advise you on what kind of assistance can be provided. They can also support with reasonable adjustments and other accessibility requirements.

To discuss any adjustments or accessibility requirements you may have, you can contact our Assisted Travel Team by calling 03717 81 81 81, (lines are open 7 days a week 8am - 10pm) or via email: addl@nationalexpress.com. Further contact details are provided at the end of this Code of Practice. When getting in touch, simply explain your requirements and once our advisor has assessed the details, they will give you all the information you will need for your journey.

Please make sure you give us as much information as possible before you travel as this will help us deliver the right service on the day.

Booking Assistance

When booking your assistance we recommend you let us know what you require by contacting our Assisted Travel Team at least 36 hours before you intend to travel with us (wherever possible). We can then discuss any assistance needs you have. The more information you can provide and the further in advance we can discuss it with you, the better prepared we will be to meet your needs when you travel with us. However, if you wish to book travel on the day or less than 36 hours in advance we will make all reasonable efforts to meet your needs for when you travel with us.

2. Travel with wheelchairs

Access to our coaches

Wheelchair access to our coaches is via a lift located at the front of the coach. Our wheelchair accessible coaches have an extra-large entrance and a flat floor throughout the coach to aid mobility.

We regularly invest in new coaches and all of our fleet now has a wheelchair lift at the front entrance.

Standing on the wheelchair lift

We are not able to permit customers or colleagues to stand on the lift whilst the lift is in use. To make boarding easier if you are unable to use the steps, we have invested in manual wheelchairs for all our coaches. Stored in the luggage hold of the coach the wheelchair will be used to seat you on the lift and provide step-free access onto the coach. Please visit the below section on Travelling in a National Express Wheelchair and transferring to a seat.

Wheelchair users travelling in a coach seat

For passengers who can and/or would prefer to transfer from their wheelchair to a coach seat, we can transport lightweight wheelchairs safely stowed in the luggage hold of the coach. A wheelchair is capable of being safely stowed in the luggage hold when the wheelchair:

(i) is capable of being folded and unfolded;
(ii) if it can’t be folded, can be dismantled and reassembled by the passenger or their carer/companion;
(iii) if it has a battery the battery is a dry fuel cell or gel fuel cell or lithium battery;
(iv) has no assistance or auxiliary aids which would make it unsafe for stowage; and
(v) weighs no more than 20kg.

We also need to check that the stops at which you wish to board and alight the coach are wheelchair accessible so that the coach lift can be deployed.

We therefore recommend that a passenger wishing to transfer from their wheelchair to a coach seat books with us at least 36 hours in advance of travel, by contacting our Assisted Travel team. This will allow us to check that your wheelchair (and ancillary equipment if applicable) is safe for stowage in the luggage hold and that the stops you wish to use are wheelchair accessible stops at which the coach lift can be deployed.

However, if you wish to book travel on the day or less than 36 hours in advance we will make all reasonable efforts to complete these required steps on the day or within the time period provided.

Wheelchair users travelling in their wheelchairs in the designated wheelchair space

The wheelchair space on our coaches is fitted with a seat which can be quickly and easily removed. We recognise that some wheelchair users can, must, or prefer to, travel in a coach seat rather than in their wheelchair. Having a seat in the space means disabled passengers and other passengers can use this seat when the space is not required by wheelchair users travelling in their wheelchair.

For those passengers seeking to travel in their wheelchair, we need to carry out the checks listed in our Wheelchair User Guidelines (available from our Assisted Travel Team or here) to ensure that we are able to provide travel (the “Requirements”). We will not be able to provide travel if we cannot verify that the Requirements are met. We therefore recommend that a passenger wishing to travel in their wheelchair makes a booking at least 36 hours in advance of when they wish to travel by contacting our Assisted Travel Team to give us time to carry out the necessary checks. However, if you wish to book travel on the day or less than 36 hours in advance we will make reasonable efforts to complete these required steps on the day or within the time period provided.

When notifying us, we ask that you give us details of the size, make and model of the wheelchair you will be travelling in and any modifications you might have made to the wheelchair so we can make the necessary checks. These checks relate specifically to whether the wheelchair can be safely secured in the wheelchair space on our coaches.

If we have previously confirmed the compatibility of a particular wheelchair, this information will be stored on our database, so we should be able to confirm compatibility at the point you call our Assisted Travel Team, or very soon thereafter.

Travelling in a National Express Wheelchair and transferring to a seat

All of our coaches have wheelchairs which are stowed in the luggage hold and are available for passengers to use to board the coach and transfer to a seat using the passenger lift. To board in this way, we will be required to make the checks outlined below prior to your journey

(i) that the stops you wish you board and alight are stops where the passenger lift can be safely deployed.
(ii) that there is space on the coach.

We therefore recommend that a passenger wishing to board the coach using a National Express makes a booking at least 36 hours in advance of travel, by contacting our Assisted Travel Team, however customers can turn up and travel without pre-booking.

Limitations on Travel

While our coaches are wheelchair accessible, the toilets on our coaches are not. Should you have any requirements in this respect, please advise our Assisted Travel Team when discussing your journey. If you need to use the toilet during your journey, ask the driver to make a stop at the next available/appropriate station.

3. Travel with Mobility Scooters

While passengers cannot travel in their mobility scooters, we do accept small lightweight mobility scooters that can be safely stowed in the luggage hold of the coach. A mobility scooter is capable of being safely stowed in the luggage hold where:

(i) the mobility scooter is capable of being folded and unfolded;
(ii) the mobility scooter can be dismantled and reassembled by the passenger or their carer/companion (if it can’t be folded);
(iii) the battery is a dry fuel cell or gel fuel cell or lithium battery;
(iv) the mobility scooter has no assistance or auxiliary aids which would make it unsafe for stowage; and
(v) the heaviest part of the mobility scooter weighs no more than 20kg.

We therefore recommend that a passenger wishing to stow a mobility scooter in the luggage hold makes a booking at least 36 hours in advance of travel, by contacting our Assisted Travel Team. This will allow us to check that your mobility scooter (and ancillary equipment if applicable) is safe for stowage in the luggage hold. However, if you wish to book travel on the day or less than 36 hours in advance we will make all reasonable efforts to complete these required steps on the day or within the time period provided.

In order to carry out the above checks, we will need you to give us details of the size, make and model of the mobility scooter you will be travelling with.

We will advise you either at the time of booking or by calling you back, about the suitability of your mobility scooter for carriage in the luggage hold of our coaches. If we have previously confirmed the compatibility of a particular mobility scooter, this information will be stored on our database, so we should be able to confirm compatibility at the point you call our Assisted Travel Team, or very soon thereafter.

4. Assistance Services

  • Our staff and drivers are expected to:
    • Recognise and offer reasonable assistance, wherever possible or on request, to our disabled customers and those customers with any accessibility requirements;
    • Be flexible, polite and respectful in their response to requests for assistance;
    • Respond to specific requests from our Assisted Travel Team, ensuring that particular/specified requirements are met;
    • Whenever possible, carry disabled customers’ luggage (or luggage belonging to customers with reduced mobility) to/from the departure/pickup point (maximum weight 20kg).
  • If you are disabled, have reduced mobility, or a long term health condition which requires a reserved / specific seat we can reserve a seat on the coach for you, if you feel this would be helpful to you during your journey (subject to availability).
  • We will keep our drivers and station staff informed of your specific requirements and ensure that they provide the appropriate assistance.
  • Our drivers and station staff will load and unload your luggage (including your wheelchair and/or mobility scooter if they meet the requirements referred to in section 2 or 3 as applicable above) to and from the coach, but they are unable to assist with items over 20kg.
  • Our drivers will also offer appropriate assistance when required by providing a steady arm for you to hold while you board and/or disembark a service and/or to assist you to your seat. If you need assistance getting on or off a coach, just let us know by contacting our Assisted Travel Team or tell the driver on the day.
  • We can only offer assistance in the station or at a stop where we have National Express staff and during the hours we have staff on-site. If you need assistance in the station or at a stop, just let us know by contacting our Assisted Travel Team. We will then let you know if the station/stop you will be using is staffed. If it is, we will do all we can to make sure our staff are there when you get on or off your coach (during the advertised opening hours). We will make reasonable efforts to provide this assistance in a prompt and timely manner. To download or view a full list of facilities available to customers at our stations/stops, please see our Facilities Directory
  • Drivers of coaches travelling to London Victoria Coach Station (VCS) will – when they have been notified to do so – request Mobility Assistance from the Transport for London (TfL) Help Point Team at VCS. VCS is owned and operated by Transport for London (TfL). TfL provides its own Mobility Assistance service for National Express and members of the public with reduced mobility. For information in respect of the mobility assistance available at VCS please visit www.tfl.gov.uk.
  • We welcome customers who require oxygen carried in hand-held/personal oxygen bottles or portable breathing aids. Unfortunately, we cannot carry any larger canisters for safety reasons.

5. Assistance Dogs

We welcome highly trained assistance dogs on our coaches. We do recommend that customers pre-book as this will help us ensure that you and your assistance dog get a seat and that your assistance dog has enough space to lie down for the duration of the journey.

You will be asked to provide evidence that your assistance dog is highly trained, such as a certificate, correspondence from the training organisation, ID book, owner training logs or an email from the owner confirming what training has taken place. This is not an exhaustive list, customers can contact us to discuss, please contact our Assisted Travel Team on 03717 81 81 81, lines open 7 days a week, 8am - 10pm or via email: addl@nationalexpress.com.

We request that assistance dogs wear a safety harness when on board the Coach which shall be attached to the seatbelt of a spare seat. The safety harness is something that you, the Customer will be required to provide.

6. We are unable to support with:

  • Our staff are not permitted to assist you with eating or with personal care/hygiene.
  • Health and Safety considerations mean that we cannot lift or carry you in any way (either on or off the coach or in or out of your seat), or take any other action that might put our staff’s own health, safety or welfare at risk.
  • We cannot provide any medical service such as giving injections. If you have a medical condition that requires others to provide this type of care, make sure you always travel with a companion, who can assist you during your journey.
  • Our drivers and staff are unable to dismantle or reassemble mobility scooters or wheelchairs.

7. Disabled Coachcard

For an annual fee, our Disabled Coachcard gives you 1/3 off your travel, all year round. You can purchase a coachcard via our Disabled Coachcard page

You can also buy over the phone by calling our booking line on 03717 818 181, or at our coach stations and travel agents across the UK. Please click here to find your nearest booking agent.

To use your Disabled Coachcard you’ll just need to provide your card number when you book your ticket and ensure that you have it with you whenever you travel (as it is a discounted ticket).

The Disabled Coachcard offers discounts all year round – you can use it any time, every day, with no peak or off-peak restrictions.

Leaflets are also available at all our coach stations. Alternatively, contact our Assisted Travel Team for more information.

8. National Express Assisted Travel Team

Our Assisted Travel Team is based in our Customer Service Centre in central Birmingham. The team can be contacted by phone, text talk services and email, and are/will:

  • available between 8am and 10pm seven days a week (you can send us an email outside of these hours and we will deal with your email at the earliest opportunity)
  • specially trained to respond to requests for assistance from our disabled customers. Advisors will ask for all the necessary and relevant information required to help us deliver the best possible service on the day of travel
  • respond to all requests for information and for disabled assistance within 24 hours
  • provide information and communication by email at: ADDL@nationalexpress.com
  • provide access to large print information, or other formats if you require, please ask.
  • investigate, follow-up and report back to you should you tell us about anything that went wrong with your journey
  • advise you if you make a request we cannot fulfil
  • if you notify us that your pre-booked arrangements did not meet your expectations, investigate and report back to you

9. Relevant legislation

When meeting our commitments to disabled customers, we take into account relevant UK legislation including (without limitation) the Equality Act 2010.

We also take into account all relevant parts of EU legislation including Regulation (EU) No. 181/2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport. A full version of the legislation is available here. For more information, visit our website.

10. Contact us

We really do welcome feedback and comments from all our customers, which helps us to understand how we can improve our service to you.

If you want to contact our Assisted Travel Team, need any further information before you book your coach journey, or just wish to confirm any of the points raised in this leaflet, please contact us by any of the methods detailed below:

By calling our team on 03717 81 81 81, lines open 7 days a week, 9am - 5pm.

Via email: addl@nationalexpress.com

By post:

The Assisted Travel Team
National Express
National Express House
Mill Lane
Digbeth
Birmingham
B5 6DD

All tickets are issued and passengers carried subject to the National Express General Conditions of Carriage.

Issued by: National Express Ltd, National Express House, Birmingham Coach Station, Mill Lane, Birmingham B5 6DD.

Company registration number: 2590560

 

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