By Richard Wright
Friday, September 14, 2012
CROSS-SOLENT operators are preparing plans for the introduction of new rules requiring disabled passengers to give at least 48 hours notice before they travel.
New EU regulations come into force on December 18 to ensure staff help passengers with special needs.
The new rules also state that companies have to make "all reasonable efforts" to help disabled passengers who do not give the required notice.
Hovertravel’s marketing manager, Loretta Lale, said: "Wherever possible, 48 hours notice will be welcome but we will continue to assist our passengers in wheelchairs up to ten minutes before departure to and from the Island, where possible.
"We are also looking at how our hovercraft are able to expedite the boarding process for these passengers, in addition to reviewing our overall disability travel tickets to offer the very best service. Further details will be announced shortly."
Both Wightlink and Red Funnel said they had long track records of catering for passengers with disabilities.
Wightlink said it already asked for advance notice and both it and Red Funnel confirmed the 48-hour requirement could be helpful but was not seen as essential.
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by Mark Sanger
14th September 2012, at 20:39:41
Well certtainly yes but no I travel backwards and forwards to see my parents who come up and collect me.I am physically disabled and partially sighted and use a wheelchair and in plces it is fine to do this but also not really practiable.Firstly that there is not enough car deck spaces to accommodate lots of disabled passengers certainly on the new W class and also the older St Class.St Clare well if all 6 lifts are working that is fine but if not there is a problem.Yes tell them in advance but would shore staff remember and look out to make sure the person gets on the boat they would and could be very busy and would forget and I have had this happen.Also do we have to put up with EU ruling come on Andew Turner support a refferemdum on us being in the EU.
by Alan Davies
14th September 2012, at 11:06:00
We tend not to book in advance, preferring to pay cash, as our debit card was cloned over using it at the booking office of one of the operators. However the service we have received has always been good. And Peter, Island Line have revised their decision not to allow mobility scooters on their trains.
by peter williams
14th September 2012, at 10:50:59
shame our famous railway (NOT HAVENSTREET) does not have the same high standards judging by the recent fiascos about wheelchairs and mobility scooters damaging their trains
Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.
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