All NCT buses meet the legal requirement to have a bay which can accommodate a ‘standard reference wheelchair’.
Most wheelchairs meet these dimensions, but if you have a bigger wheelchair we are unfortunately unable to carry you. Electric wheelchairs are classed in the same way as a manual wheelchair.
Buses are designed to carry 1 wheelchair at a time and following a 2017 Supreme Court ruling, we have adopted a new policy where priority to the bay should be given to a wheelchair user.
Where the bay is occupied by a non-wheelchair user, our drivers will ask them to relocate to another part of the bus to allow a wheelchair user to board. If the customer refuses to move, our drivers will ask a second time, pointing out that the space is designated for a wheelchair user.
If the customer still refuses to move, the driver is unable to force them to move and will contact our Control Room to seek guidance on what action to take next. This is most likely to be contacting the next available bus to let the driver know you will be boarding, or in some cases, booking a taxi for you (at our expense) to make your journey.
Our buses remain available for people who have to make an essential journey during the coronavirus outbreak, with our guidance updated as below:
- Drivers will park as close to the kerb as possible to allow you to get on and off the bus.
- You should get on and off the bus facing forwards.
- Our drivers will deploy the ramp when required, but customers should wait at least 2m away from the door, to allow the driver to deploy the ramp and maintain social distance.The driver will deploy the ramp or kneel the bus (whichever is appropriate or requested). A very small number of our drivers are exempt from deploying the ramp on medical grounds as they have a disability. In these cases, another customer or one of our Customer Support Team can deploy the ramp.
- When you’ve paid for your journey or shown your travel card, make your way to the bay.
- The rear of the wheelchair must be placed against the back rest and the arm (where fitted) must be placed in position. Try not to cause any obstruction to the gangway.
- Apply your brake and make use of any bars/handles in place throughout the journey.
- You must remain in your wheelchair throughout the journey. If you transfer to a seat, your wheelchair must be placed in the luggage rack.
- When you reach your stop, the bell in the bay area gives a different alert to the driver to the other bells on the bus, so the driver knows a customer from the bay will be getting off and they can offer assistance.
- When getting off the bus, wait in the bay until the driver has deployed the ramp and then moved away from the bus, to give you social distance.