Bus travel for customers with disabilities
East Yorkshire provides a network of local bus and coach services in Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire, and the southern part of North Yorkshire.
The company recognises the need in providing easily accessible transport for all, whilst acknowledging that for people with certain types of physical disability special arrangements will sometimes be required that cannot be provided by any commercial bus operator.
Since privatisation in 1987 it has been the company's policy to maximise its investment in new buses in order to replace the oldest and, therefore, the least accessible buses in its fleet at the fastest rate possible, which meant that we achieved the target of all buses being low-floor and wheelchair accessible well before the government’s deadline. All the company’s buses are now low-floor, easy-access and with full wheelchair-accessibility.
Partnerships with local authorities have resulted in many bus stops on these areas and routes being modified with raised pavements to maximise the benefits offered by the low-floor buses.
All of our buses are low-floor, easy access buses, which are suitable for wheelchairs to travel on. They have ramps at the entrance which mean wheelchairs can easily get on board. As you wait at the bus stop in your wheelchair, please signal clearly that you want the bus to stop. The driver will stop as close to the kerb as possible, and will lower the bus, if needed, to minimise the height between the bus and the kerb. The wheelchair ramp will then be lowered – in some cases, at stops with special raised pavements, the ramp may not be needed.
There is a space inside each bus where a wheelchair can be parked. These spaces can also be used by passengers with buggies, although we only accept onto our buses buggies that can be folded, and if a wheelchair user wishes to board the bus the driver will ask the passenger with the buggy to fold it and put it into the luggage rack.
Type of wheelchair permissible
Manual and powered wheelchairs are able to use all our services. These need to be within the dimensions as specified within the Equality Act of 2010 – further details are available upon request. However, the size specified is larger than a standard-size wheelchair so most customers should not experience any issues.
Please note mobility scooters are currently not permitted on our services due to the manoeuvrability into the wheelchair space.
On the buses
We welcome wheelchair users to make use of our low floor buses and spaces on our bus services. We do appreciate that prams/buggies will utilise this space, however should a wheelchair user wish to board the bus we do ask the other customer to collapse the pram/buggy to allow access. If they refuse to move, our drivers do not have any power of enforcement, therefore we cannot force them to action our request.
When travelling on our buses we ask that you position your wheelchair in the space provided with your back against the head rest, facing the rear of the bus. Please ensure that you ensure your brakes are on, for your safety and that of other passengers.
The company also recognises the need for full accessibility to travel centres and bus information displays. Although it is not generally used for the supply of travel information to personal callers, the company's head office at Anlaby Road presents particular difficulties. The offices are designated as listed buildings and substantial alterations are therefore impossible. This situation has however been accepted by the Disability Rights Coalition in Hull.
Hull Interchange, opened in September 2007, has full modern accessibility standards throughout and East Yorkshire has worked closely with the City Council and the architect to achieve the most practical and user-friendly design for bus users.
Hearing loops are available at all the company’s public offices, and large print versions of bus timetables are available on request – please email our customer service team: [email protected] or visit our team at Hull Travel Centre.
During their induction training all staff, and particularly drivers and other staff who deal with customers directly, are made aware of the needs of customers with disabilities, either in mobility, sensory, or cognitive cases. Induction training and subsequent in-service customer care and disability awareness training programmes are all designed to highlight the need to quickly identify such customers, make due allowance for them in the most discreet way possible, and render such assistance as may be necessary in individual cases. Whenever necessary, direct assistance in disability awareness training is sought from disablement action groups or their equivalent. The 'Customer Care and Disability Equality (Awareness)' day course is regularly given to all drivers and other key staff and forms part of the training required to continue drivers' vocational licence requirements.
Bespoke training and courses on specific conditions have also been offered to drivers - for example helping and supporting dementia sufferers, and understanding how it feels to travel with a visual impairment. This training has been developed in partnership with local disability groups.
East Yorkshire Coaches has coaches and buses that are wheelchair accessible, which are available for private hire and group travel.
Express coach routes from Hull
All National Express journeys operated by East Yorkshire now use coaches with wheelchair lifts, thanks to East Yorkshire’s multi-million pound investment in new coaches.
People with non-visible disabilities may find it useful to get a Helping Hands card, which is a way to discretely signal to the driver that you may need extra assistance.
- The company achieved the target for all local service buses to be fully accessible earlier than the Government's deadline of January 2017.
- Induction and in-service training for all staff, especially drivers and other key staff, will continue to highlight the requirements of passengers with physical, sensory or mental impairments, and this training will be monitored and improved where appropriate.
- The company will continue to press local authorities to introduce physical measures which will assist the operation of buses generally, and improve accessibility for all passengers but especially those in wheelchairs or with other physical disabilities.
- The company will also continue to press for the enforcement agencies to take active steps to ensure that bus stop parking and waiting restrictions are vigorously applied, to ensure better access for both buses and passengers.
- This policy will be regularly reviewed and updated.