rail replacement services heading

Rail Replacement Services Travel Advice

Please find below helpful travel advice if you need to travel on a rail replacement service. Buses, coaches and taxis are different to trains, so there will be things you can expect on a train that are not possible or practical for us to provide on a replacement service.

General Information

Rail replacement service provisions can be different for each train company, but there are some general rules that apply to them all:

  • You should have a valid train ticket before you get on the bus.
  • Non-folding bicycles cannot be taken on the bus. There may be limited space available for folded bicycles, so entry will be at the drivers discretion.
  • Assistance dogs will always be carried.
  • Alcohol is not allowed on the rail replacement bus or coach.
  • Customers with disabilities will be asked about the best journey options to enable them to travel.  We may offer a range of choices including taxi, minibus, a diverted journey, bus or coach.  We may be limited by suppliers available at the time of the journey.
  • All rail replacement services will display the destination, train company name and "RAIL REPLACEMENT" wording.
  • Railway staff will be available to assist customers at stations which are ordinarily staffed. Where rail replacement services call at bus stops and meeting points close to, but away from, the station (e.g. if the road approaching a station cannot fit a double-decker bus) and at quieter, non-staffed stations, there will be no railway staff to assist.
  • A different timetable operates when rail replacement services are in use, and journeys may take longer than usual. However, if the replacement services are significantly delayed against that temporary change to the normal timetable, you can claim for delay compensation in the usual way, with the agreed operator thresholds (see www.nationalrail.co.uk/compensation for details on operator delay thresholds and how to claim).

Station Infomation

You can find the pick up and drop off location of a rail replacement service by checking wayfinder signs at stations, or by searching for your start or destination station on our Station Information pages

We also have information to help you find out more about the different types of rail replacement vehicles (bus coach, taxi etc.).

Rail Replacement Services & Coronavirus

Coach and Bus operators supplying rail replacement vehicles are also working hard to ensure that all enhanced cleaning standards are met, including:

  • a greater focus on cleaning high-touch areas on vehicles; (such as handrails),
  • increasing the use of antiviral cleaning products
  • Where coaches have the facilities, ensuring toilets are well stocked with soap

There is more information on how Coronavirus has affected National Rail services at www.nationalrail.co.uk/coronavirus

Train Operating Companies

We have asked the train operating companies the most frequently asked questions about their replacement vehicles, including the type of vehicle used, whether they can carry a bicycle, pushchair or pram, leashed animals and luggage, wheelchairs or mobility scooters etc.

Their comprehensive and informative answers can be found below. To find out which type of rail replacement vehicle a train operator will normally provide as a replacement, please select the train company you are travelling with.

Avanti West Coast

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Folding cycles only. These are carried in the coach’s luggage compartment.

Animals or pets allowed? No, except for Assistance Dogs. Customers with an assistance animal should contact us to discuss their journey options.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, but must be folded down where possible. These are carried in the coach’s luggage compartment.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Generally normal coaches are provided. If customers are unable to board a coach then Avanti West Coast would provide an alternative to meet the customer's needs.

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? In some places. Avanti West Coast recognise that each wheelchair user has different needs and they will contact any customer who has pre-booked to discuss their requirements.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team, please call 0800 0158 123 or 0800 0158 124 (Textphone) Please note due to COVID-19 restrictions the phone line for Assisted Travel will now be closed on Saturdays and Sundays. At weekends please use the online form or email, see here for more information.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Avanti West Coast would aim to comply with current conditions of carriage regarding luggage on trains. Luggage would be stored in the coach’s luggage compartment.

Food and drink allowed? Food is not allowed but drink is. Alcohol drinking is barred from all coach services and unopened alcohol must be stored in the luggage compartment.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? A valid ticket is required. Avanti West Coast stations would normally be open whilst coaches are operating but if there is a situation where a ticket can’t be purchased it would be acceptable to purchase the ticket at the final destination.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? For journeys of over an hour Avanti West Coast will aim to provide coaches with a working toilet.

c2c

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Folding bicycles will be accepted only. 

Animals or pets allowed? No animals will be allowed, except for Assistance Dogs. 

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Pushchairs and prams should be folded down where possible.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? All buses will be low-floor and fully accessible, subject to operational requirements. Where a customer cannot use a bus due to their disability, alternatives will be sourced.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0345 744 4422 (Textphone compatible with Ultratec Minicom 6000)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Yes.

Luggage - any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? c2c follow the same guidelines on size and type of luggage on buses as they do on their trains.

Food and drink allowed? Alcohol is not allowed.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Customers must have a valid train ticket before boarding.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? No.

Chiltern Railways

 

Are Bicycles allowed? As a general rule, bicycles are allowed on however, the driver reserves the right of refusal.

Animals or pets allowed? Most small pets will be allowed, again, the driver reserves the right of refusal. All assistance dogs are permitted.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Generally not a problem, especially foldable pushchairs, but driver reserves the right of refusal.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Almost all rail replacement services are operated by full size coaches which may not offer step free access. An alternative is offered on the day to any passengers who for any reason are physically unable to travel on a coach due to a disability. The alternative will be sourced based on the customer needs. Customers who pre-book may be contacted in advance to discuss their options.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 03456 005 165 or 03457 078 051 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Where the customer can travel safely, yes. Non-motorised wheelchairs can be conveyed if the passenger is able to board the service themselves. If they are not, the above alternative provision applies.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Generally not a problem, but driver reserves the right of refusal if a passenger has oversized and/or unorthodox luggage.

Food and drink allowed? Hot food is not allowed. Cold food and drinks may be accepted within reason, but the driver reserves the right of refusal.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? A valid train ticket is required to board any rail replacement service. Should facilities not be available, the ticket should be purchased at the soonest opportunity at the destination station.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Coach services will invariably have an on-board toilet, however this service cannot be guaranteed.

CrossCountry

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Foldable bikes or bikes in packaging / bike box are accepted. Otherwise due to risk of damage to the bike, coach and other peoples' luggage, carriage of a bike is not allowed.

Animals or pets allowed? Only assistance animals (such as Guide Dogs).

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Some services are low-floor. But most rail replacement transport is operated by coaches with steps up due to under floor luggage space requirements, and they are more comfortable for longer journeys. Customers should contact the Customer Care Team to book assistance. Once the request is received then you can check what type of bus is booked, and ask if a bus or taxi would be more suitable.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0344 811 0125 or 0344 811 0126 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Yes, subject to space and isolation of electric chairs.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No. As above, we tend to book coaches with underfloor luggage space.

Food and drink allowed? Food is generally allowed, however hot food and drinks are at the coach driver's discretion. Alcohol is not allowed. 

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Rail tickets are always required and should be purchased at the earliest opportunity.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? This is not always available, customers are advised to use the facilities at the station before boarding the bus.

East Midlands Railway

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Yes, at the owners risk.

Animals or pets allowed? Yes, subject to safety considerations. There may be some occasions where large pets may not be accommodated. All assistance dogs will be carried.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, subject to there being sufficient room, and they must be folded.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Some vehicles are accessible. Assistance should, whenever possible, be booked in advance to help East Midlands Railway to plan your journey with you. In the event of unplanned travel, and the bus vehicle is not suitable, then alternative transport (e.g. taxi) may be arranged through contacting a member of staff or by asking the driver.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 03457 125 678 or 03457 078 051 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Yes, where there is sufficient room.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Passengers are allowed three items of luggage on board. One item of a size to fit under the seat in front, two items placed in the luggage compartment. Passengers may be charged for additional luggage.

Food and drink allowed? Non-alcoholic drinks are allowed in a sealed or covered container. Food should be wrapped up and not consumed on the bus.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Train tickets must be purchased before travel. Should this not be possible due to the ticket machine being out of order etc, then travel is allowed but a ticket must be bought when you arrive at your destination.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Some routes have toilets on board depending on the length of journey. Journeys lasting over an hour will normally be provided with toilet facilities. 

A list of East Midlands Railway stations can be found here showing you where you can catch your rail replacement bus.

Gatwick Express

 

Are bicycles allowed? No.

Animals or pets allowed? Yes, but at the discretion of the driver. Some coach operators do not allow animals other than assistance dogs.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes - but they must have the ability to be folded and placed in the luggage area of the coach. If a bus is used they can occupy the wheelchair space but must be prepared to move if area is required for a wheelchair user.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Where the bus/coach is accessible, disabled and older customers will be able to use the vehicle provided. If the customer cannot access the vehicle, Gatwick Express will organise alternative transport on request.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 138 1016 or 0800 138 1018 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Wheelchairs - Yes (see prams / pushchairs above). They must be able to be folded if a coach is used (if the coach does not have a mobility lift). Mobility scooters are not permitted on a replacement bus or coach. We will provide alternative transport if the customer cannot use the bus or coach.

Luggage - any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No restrictions, except that any baggage must not obstruct aisles or entrances and will only be carried as space allows. Luggage to be stowed beneath in the case of a coach. All luggage is carried at the discretion of the driver.

Food and drink allowed? Yes within reason. Alcohol is not allowed. 

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Travel will be allowed unless denied by station staff.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? No.

Greater Anglia

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Only folding bikes (ideally in bags) are allowed.

Animals or pets allowed? Assistance dogs of all types must be carried by law, all other pets are allowed at the drivers discretion

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, providing they occupy the appropriate space on buses, or are folded and placed in the luggage hold in the case of coaches.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? All buses used are accessible. Coaches may be accessible, but if no suitable vehicle is available an alternative will be arranged in discussion with the customer.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 0282 878 or 18001 0800 0282 878 (Text relay service)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Yes, providing they occupy the appropriate space on buses, or are folded and placed in the luggage hold in the case of coaches.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No restrictions apply, as long as the item can be accommodated within the luggage rack or hold.

Food and drink allowed? At the drivers discretion. Alcohol consumption on buses and coaches is prohibited by law.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Yes, a train ticket is required.  However if there is no opportunity to purchase, you will be expected to purchase a valid ticket on arrival at the destination station.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Not guaranteed. If toilets are fitted to coaches they should be in working order.

Any other restrictions? All flammables (petrol, diesel and paint) and fireworks are prohibited.

Great Western Railway

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Folding bikes only.

Animals or pets allowed? All assistance animals are permitted. Other animals are subject to the drivers discretion and will depend on the bus operators policy and space available on board.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Folding pram and pushchairs are permitted, subject to there being available space on board.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Great Western Railway use a mix of low-floor buses and coaches. If you are not able to travel on one of their services, they will arrange an accessible alternative for you free of charge. Please contact them to discuss any requirements you might have.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 1971 329 or  18001 0800 1971 329 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Yes - customers travelling in wheelchairs and mobility scooters can travel on replacement buses. Wheelchairs would be stored as luggage when not being used. Mobility scooters are unable to be stored as luggage.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Large items of luggage cannot be carried. 

Food and drink allowed? Hot drinks and alcohol are not permitted to be consumed on board. Other food and non-alcoholic drinks will be subject to the drivers discretion.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? A train ticket it required to travel on the replacement buses. Tickets must be purchased at the earliest opportunity which might be at your destination station.

Grand Central

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Foldable bikes or bikes in packaging / bike box are accepted. Otherwise due to risk of damage to bike, coach and other peoples luggage, carriage of a bike is not allowed.

Animals or pets allowed? Only assistance animals (such as Guide Dogs).

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Some services are low-floor. Most rail replacement buses are coaches due to luggage space requirement. Customers should contact the Customer Care Team to book assistance. Once the request is received then they can check what type of vehicle is booked, and if an alternative would be more suitable.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0344 811 0072 or 0344 556 1400 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Yes, subject to space.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No. As above, we tend to book coaches with underfloor luggage space.

Food and drink allowed? At the coach driver's discretion. No alcohol.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? A ticket is always required and should be purchased at the earliest opportunity.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Not always available, customers are advised to use the facilities at the station before boarding the bus.

Great Northern

 

Are bicycles allowed? No.

Animals and pets allowed? Yes, but it is at the discretion of the driver. Some coach operators do not allow animals on their vehicles. Guide / mobility assistance dogs are always allowed.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes - but they must have the ability to be folded and placed in the luggage area of the coach. If a bus is used they can occupy the wheelchair space BUT must be moved if the area is required for a wheelchair user.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Train operating company will organise alternative transport on request.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 058 2844 or 0800 138 1018 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Wheelchairs - yes (see prams / pushchairs above). They must be able to be folded if a coach is used. Mobility scooters are not permitted on either buses or coaches.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No restrictions except that any baggage must not obstruct aisles or entrances. It will only be carried as space allows. Luggage is to be stowed beneath in case of a coach. All luggage is carried at the discretion of the driver.

Food and drink allowed? Yes within reason. Alcohol is not allowed to be consumed on board.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If not, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Travel will be allowed unless denied by station staff.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? No.

Heathrow Express

 

In the event of Heathrow Express not running, you will need to use London Underground or other rail services (Great Western Railway or TfL Rail) to make your journey.

Please note - There is no ticket acceptance on the other services, you will have to purchase another ticket and apply for a refund on your Heathrow Express ticket.

Hull Trains

 

Are Bicycles allowed? This is at the driver’s discretion and dependent on the luggage capacity, as this takes priority over bikes.

Animals or pets allowed? Assistance dogs are allowed on board. Any other pets or animals are at the driver’s discretion.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, both are allowed.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Some buses are accessible to disabled passengers. However, if you are unable to board replacement transport Hull Trains will book an accessible taxi for you.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 316 1323 or 0800 304 7513 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? If a passenger is able to leave their wheelchair and can board the vehicle then Hull Trains will store the wheelchair. If not, Hull Trains will book an accessible vehicle (usually a taxi).

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No current restrictions on luggage or bags.

Food and drink allowed? This is at the driver’s discretion, No alcohol is permitted. Some drivers do not allow hot drinks, however, for the longer journeys most food and drink is permitted.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Customers should have a valid rail ticket for the full length of their journey. Ticket checks are in operation.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Hull Trains will provide this where required, normally for journeys over one and a half hours.

Island Line

 

Are Bicycles allowed? No, under Passenger Carrying Vehicle Law, they are not permitted to be carried.

Animals or pets allowed? Assistance dogs are permitted. Many coach companies won’t allow non-working animals on their vehicles.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Prams cannot be carried. However, a folding pushchair will be fine.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Not always, as a combination of coaches and buses are used depending on the route. Island Line policy for disabled passengers is to provide accessible alternatives if they are unable to use the buses.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 528 2100 or 0800 692 0792 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? The same advice for the accessibility applies to wheelchairs / mobility scooters. 

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Bulky luggage cannot be carried.

Food and drink allowed? Most food is allowed, however hot food and takeaways are subject to the drivers discretion. Alcohol is not allowed. 

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Yes it is a requirement to have a ticket. Most stations now have ticket vending machines so customers should be able to purchase one before boarding the bus.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Island Line do not offer toilet facilities on their replacement buses.

London Northwestern Railway

 

Are bicycles allowed? No.

Are animals or pets allowed? No. Assistance dogs are always permitted.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, but at the drivers discretion as they are subject to available space.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If no, what arrangements are made for customers? Buses have low floor accessibility, coaches do not. Buses are generally used on the commuter routes within the West Midlands area. If vehicles are not accessible, alternative methods of transport are arranged.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 024 8997 or 18001 0800 024 8997 (Next Generation Text)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Buses have low floor accessibility so they would be allowed on the buses. However, coaches do not have low floor accessibility, therefore you would not be able to take mobility scooters / wheelchairs onboard.

Luggage - any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Same restrictions as if customer was travelling on a train.

Food and drink allowed? Food and drink is allowed at the discretion of the bus/coach operator. Alcohol is not permitted.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? A train ticket is required. Stations are either staffed, have a ticket vending machine, or a permit to travel machine. If none of these are available, you will be expected to buy a ticket at the first available opportunity.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Toilets are only available on coaches, not on buses, and then only on longer journeys over 60 minutes.

LNER

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Foldable bicycles will be carried subject to space on the coach.

Animals or pets allowed? Pets are allowed as services are classed as private hire, however, the driver is within their rights to ask the owner that animals have a muzzle or are kept in the relevant transport case (e.g cat crate). Assistance dogs are always permitted.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, as long as items are foldable so that they can be stored in the luggage compartment.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? LNER do not specifically ask operators to provide low level coaches. If customers have difficulty accessing stations or coaches they will provide alternative transport.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please see here for online contact information or call 18001 03457 225 225 (Text relay service).

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? LNER are able to carry foldable wheelchairs as they can be stored. Mobility scooters / electric wheelchairs only carried if service buses are provided.

Luggage? – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No restrictions, although we would expect luggage will be at a weight which the individual/driver can load into luggage compartment.

Food and drink allowed? Only cold food (sandwiches, crisps, fruit etc). No alcohol permitted.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Yes, a ticket must be purchased from the departing station prior to boarding a coach.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Yes, as part of the agreement with LNER, coaches will have a fully working toilet.

Any additional information? All bus services will be timetabled and advertised so that customers are aware. LNER will provide coordinators at larger / busy stations to ensure the smooth transit of customers.

London Overground

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Only folding bicycles are carried.

Animals and Pets allowed? You can bring an assistance dog on board without any charge. You can also take with you on board any other dog or inoffensive animal, unless there is good reason for the driver to refuse it (such as if the animal seems dangerous). The animals must be kept on a lead or in a suitable container at all times and must not go on the seats. Staff are not allowed to take charge of any animal.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? All London Overground replacement bus services are accessible for passengers with prams / pushchairs up to a width of 70cm and a length of 120cm unfolded. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users have priority over everyone else for the use of the wheelchair space. You may be asked to fold your pram / pushchair to free up the space for wheelchair users. The driver has the right to refuse travel if your pram / pushchair exceeds the dimensions set out above, if your pram / pushchair can not be folded or if they consider the bus too crowded that there is no room for you to travel safely.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? During planned engineering work, all replacement bus services run on behalf of London Overground are fully accessible. When facilities and services are not accessible, London Overground will make every effort to provide alternative facilities. During service disruption, where you have booked assistance in advance, they will make every effort to contact you to make alternative arrangements. If it is likely that any rail replacement service will be inaccessible they will arrange to take you to the nearest or most convenient accessible station from where you can continue your journey, without an additional charge.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0343 222 1234 or 0203 031 9331 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on the bus? All replacement buses are accessible for passengers using the following mobility aids:

  • Wheelchairs up to a width of 70cm and up to a length of 120cm unfolded which are within the weight limit shown on the ramp or beside the doorway
  • Mobility scooters up to a width of 60cm and up to a length of 100cm and with a maximum turning radius of 120cm which are within the weight limit shown on the ramp or beside the doorway
  • Wheeled mobility walkers up to a width of 60cm and up to a length of 100cm and with a maximum turning radius of 120cm

 

Travel is free on all buses for those using a wheelchair or mobility scooter and priority is given over everyone else for the use of the wheelchair space. The driver has the right to refuse travel if they consider your mobility aid to exceed the weight and size dimensions stated above or if they consider the bus to be too crowded for you to travel safely.

Luggage - any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? You can travel with luggage, in line with the London Overground conditions of travel on trains.

Food and drink allowed? No alcohol is allowed.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? All customers should be in possession of a ticket (paper or digital), or have the ability to pay a fare for the journey that they intend making.  If the customer intends paying for their fare by contactless / Oyster then they should present to an authorised member of staff the card they intend making payment from when asked to do so otherwise pay for their journey on arriving at the station where they alight the bus.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? No.

Merseyrail

 

Are bicycles allowed? No, bicycles are not permitted on board replacement bus services.

Are animals or pets allowed? Yes; assistance animals are permitted at all times, and domestic animals are subject to the bus driver agreeing that it is safe to carry them.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, providing that the space has not been taken by another pram or wheelchair. Normally one per bus. 

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Yes, all buses are accessible. If there are any on the day problems, Merseyrail staff or the bus supervisor will arrange alternative transport.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 0277 347 or 0151 702 2071 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Yes, subject to size and space. If not staff will arrange alternative transport.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? This is subject to how much luggage is already on the bus and if the driver deems it safe to carry.

Food and drink allowed? Most food is usually allowed. However, hot food and alcohol are not allowed. 

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? You need a ticket to travel but if the station is unstaffed, the bus company will allow customers to get on with a reminder that they should purchase a ticket at the end of the bus journey.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Unfortunately not, as these are normal service buses without toilets. 

Northern

 

Are Bicycles allowed? No, bicycles are not normally allowed.

Animals and pets allowed? No animals except assistance dogs.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Prams and pushchairs are allowed as long as they fold down to fit into luggage compartments.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? A mixture of coaches and service buses are used. While service buses tend to more accessible for disabled or elderly customers, coaches can be inaccessible. Where disabled or elderly customers are unable to board rail replacement vehicles an alternative will be provided.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 138 5560 or 18001 0800 138 5560 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Wheelchairs can be carried, mobility scooters are not normally accepted due to their size.

Luggage - any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? The same restrictions as travelling on trains applies with regards to luggage.

Food and drink allowed? Alcohol is not permitted on board any replacement bus service. Other food and drink is at the discretion of the driver.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? When facilities are available to buy a ticket one should be purchased prior to boarding. Where facilities are not available, one should be bought at the earliest opportunity.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? This cannot be guaranteed.

ScotRail

 

Are Bicycles allowed? It will not be possible to carry cycles (except folding).

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? A coach service is normally provided. If you have mobility needs that mean you cannot access the coach, ScotRail will provide an accessible alternative at no extra charge as long as you have a valid rail ticket for your journey.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 912 2901 or 18001 0800 912 2901 (Textphone)

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? Yes valid rail tickets are required, please be ready to show your rail ticket to the driver when using a replacement bus.

Southeastern

 

Are Bicycles allowed?
No

Animals or pets allowed?
Assistance dogs will always be permitted. Small dogs will be allowed at the discretion of the bus driver. Pets in carry cages are normally allowed depending on how busy the bus service is.

Prams or pushchairs allowed?
Yes prams and pushchairs are allowed, but will need to be collapsed if a wheelchair user requires the designated space.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers?
Southeastern only use buses and coaches which are built to accessible standards. We expect to be able to accommodate all disabled people including wheelchair users in these rail replacement services.  Passengers are advised to book through assisted travel before making their journeys. If an alternative vehicle is required it is best if this is pre ordered which Assisted Travel can do.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 08007 834 524 or 08007 834 548 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses?
Southeastern's replacement buses can safely carry most wheelchair users. Coaches usually require wheelchair users to be strapped in and sometimes require details of crash testing certificates for the wheelchair. Passengers are advised to book through assisted travel before making their journeys so accessible alternatives can be arranged. Unless scooters can be folded down they usually cannot be accommodated on our rail replacement vehicles.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Luggage is normally accepted on Southeastern's bus services, although this depends on how busy they are.

Food and drink allowed?
Food and drink is allowed, however Alcohol is NOT permitted.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Yes, a ticket is required. Same rules apply as to travelling on train services.

Will there be a toilet on the bus?
No.

South Western Railway

 

Are Bicycles allowed? No, under Passenger Carrying Vehicle Law, they are not permitted to be carried.

Animals or pets allowed? Assistance dogs will always be carried. Many coach companies won’t allow pets on their vehicles.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Prams cannot be carried. However, a folding pushchair will be fine.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers?  South Western Railway use a combination of coaches and buses depending on the route. Their policy for disabled passengers is to provide accessible alternatives if they are unable to use the buses or coaches.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 528 2100 or 0800 692 0792 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? As above.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Bulky luggage cannot be carried.

Food and drink allowed? There is no set rule for this but many coach companies will not accept passengers with greasy food or drink. Alcohol is not permitted on any Bus or Coach.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Yes it is a requirement to have a ticket. Most South Western Railway stations now have ticket vending machines so you should be able to purchase one before boarding the bus.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? South Western Railway do not offer toilet facilities on their replacement buses. However, on long distance services, where possible they do try to use coaches with toilets. But depending on the time of year, many ‘Executive’ type coaches are away on tour work and not available for rail replacement work.

Southern

 

Are Bicycles allowed? No.

Animals or pets allowed? Yes, but it is at the discretion of the driver. Some coach operators do not allow animals on their vehicles. Assistance dogs are always allowed.

Prams / Pushchairs allowed? Yes - but they must have the ability to be folded and placed in the luggage area of the coach. If a bus is used they can occupy the wheelchair space BUT you must be prepared to move it if the space is required for a wheelchair user.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Buses are accessible, but coaches are generally not. If replacement transport is not accessible, Southern will organise alternative travel.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 138 1016 or 0800 138 1018 (Textphone)

Wheelchair / Mobility scooters allowed? Wheelchairs - yes (see prams/pushchairs above). It must be able to be folded if a coach is used (if the coach does not have a mobility lift). Mobility scooters are not permitted on buses or coaches.

Luggage - any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No restrictions except that any baggage must not obstruct aisles or entrances, and will only be carried if space allows. Luggage is to be stowed beneath in the case of a coach. All luggage is carried at the discretion of the driver.

Food and drink allowed? Yes within reason. Alcohol is not permitted to be consumed on board.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Yes. But travel will be allowed unless denied by station staff.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? No.

Stansted Express

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Only folding bikes (ideally in bags) permissible.

Animals or pets allowed? Assistance dogs of all types must be carried by law, all other pets are at the drivers discretion.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, providing they occupy the appropriate space on buses, or are folded and placed in the luggage hold in the case of coaches.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? All buses used are PSVAR compliant. Coaches are mixed, in the case of no suitable vehicle being available an accessible alternative will be arranged.

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Yes, providing they occupy the appropriate space on buses, or are folded and placed in the luggage hold in the case of coaches.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No - as long as the item can be accommodated within the luggage rack or hold.

Food and drink allowed? This is decided at the drivers discretion. Alcohol is not allowed.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Yes, a train ticket is required.  However, if there is no opportunity to purchase, you will be expected to purchase a valid ticket on arrival at the destination station.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? This cannot be guaranteed. If toilets are fitted to coaches they should be in working order.

Any other restrictions? All flammables are prohibited (Petrol, Diesel and Paint). Fireworks are prohibited.

TfL Rail

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Only folding bicycles are carried.

Animals and Pets allowed? You can bring an assistance dog on board without any charge. You can also take with you on board any other dog or inoffensive animal, unless there is good reason for the driver to refuse it (such as if the animal seems dangerous). The animals must be kept on a lead or in a suitable container at all times and must not go on the seats. Staff are not allowed to take charge of any animal.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? All TfL Rail replacement bus services are accessible for passengers with prams / pushchairs up to a width of 70cm and a length of 120cm unfolded. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users have priority over everyone else for the use of the wheelchair space. You may be asked to fold your pram / pushchair to free up the space for wheelchair users. The driver has the right to refuse travel if your pram / pushchair exceeds the dimensions set out above, if your pram / pushchair can not be folded or if they consider the bus too crowded that there is no room for you to travel safely.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? During planned engineering work, all replacement bus services run on behalf of TfL Rail are fully accessible. When facilities and services are not accessible, TfL Rail will make every effort to provide alternative facilities. During service disruption, where you have booked assistance in advance, they will make every effort to contact you to make alternative arrangements. If it is likely that any rail replacement service will be inaccessible they will arrange to take you to the nearest or most convenient accessible station from where you can continue your journey, without an additional charge.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0343 222 3456 or 0800 112 3456 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on the bus? All replacement buses are accessible for passengers using the following mobility aids:

  • Wheelchairs up to a width of 70cm and up to a length of 120cm unfolded which are within the weight limit shown on the ramp or beside the doorway
  • Mobility scooters up to a width of 60cm and up to a length of 100cm and with a maximum turning radius of 120cm which are within the weight limit shown on the ramp or beside the doorway
  • Wheeled mobility walkers up to a width of 60cm and up to a length of 100cm and with a maximum turning radius of 120cm

 

Travel is free on all buses for those using a wheelchair or mobility scooter and priority is given over everyone else for the use of the wheelchair space. The driver has the right to refuse travel if they consider your mobility aid to exceed the weight and size dimensions stated above or if they consider the bus to be too crowded for you to travel safely.

Luggage - any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? You can travel with luggage, in line with the TfL Rail conditions of travel on trains.

Food and drink allowed? No alcohol is allowed.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? All customers should be in possession of a ticket (paper or digital), or have the ability to pay a fare for the journey that they intend making.  If the customer intends paying for their fare by contactless / Oyster then they should present to an authorised member of staff the card they intend making payment from when asked to do so otherwise pay for their journey on arriving at the station where they alight the bus.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? No.

Thameslink

 

Are Bicycles allowed? No.

Animals or pets allowed? Yes, but at the discretion of the driver. Some coach operators do not allow animals on their vehicles. Assistance dogs are always allowed.

Prams / Pushchairs allowed? Yes - but they must have the ability to be folded and placed in the luggage area of the coach. If a bus is used they can occupy the wheelchair space BUT you must be prepared to move it if the space is required for a wheelchair user.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Buses are accessible, but coaches are generally not. If replacement transport is not accessible, Thameslink will organise alternative travel.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 058 2844 or 0800 138 1018 (Textphone)

Wheelchair / Mobility scooters allowed? Wheelchairs - yes (see prams / pushchairs above). It must be able to be folded if a coach is used (if the coach does not have a mobility lift). Mobility scooters are not permitted on buses or coaches.

Luggage - any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No restrictions except that any baggage must not obstruct aisles or entrances, and will only be carried if space allows. Luggage is to be stowed beneath in the case of a coach. All luggage is carried at the discretion of the driver.

Food and drink allowed? Yes within reason. Alcohol is not permitted to be consumed on board.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? Travel will be allowed unless denied by station staff.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? No.

TransPennine Express

 

Are Bicycles allowed? No.

Animals or pets allowed? Assistance dogs will always be permitted. Other animals cannot be conveyed.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Prams and pushchairs cannot be conveyed.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? An accessible bus service is normally provided. Where the bus service is not accessible, TransPennine Express will provide another means of accessible transport, as they will if the service is disrupted by unplanned engineering work. If you think you may have difficulty boarding the replacement coach services please contact the TransPennine Express assisted travel team on 0800 107 2149 or 18001 0800 107 2149 (Textphone)

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Where train services are replaced by buses during disruption, TransPennine Express will endeavour to ensure that an accessible bus is provided. If this cannot be achieved, a taxi suitable for you will be provided at no extra charge. If you have booked a journey with your mobility scooter and the train services are disrupted, the alternative transport - accessible bus or accessible taxi – is always with a contractor that can carry the scooter for which you have a TPE Scooter Card.

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Heavy luggage cannot be conveyed.

Food and drink allowed? Alcohol is not permitted.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? Yes, a ticket is required.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Rail replacement vehicles will have toilet facilities on-board, where possible, dependent on the size of vehicle and providing that journey time between stations is greater than 30 minutes.

Transport for Wales

 

Are Bicycles allowed? Folding bicycles only. These are carried in the coach’s luggage compartment.

Animals or pets allowed? Only service / assistance dogs (such as Guide Dogs).

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, but must be folded down where possible and placed in the coach’s luggage compartment.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If not, what arrangements are made for customers? Some services are low-floor buses, but most Rail Replacement transport is operated by coaches. This is due to under floor luggage space requirements, and they are more comfortable for longer journeys. As a result customers should contact Transport for Wales Customer Care Team to book assistance - they will check what type of bus is booked, and if an alternative would be more suitable. If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 03330 050 501 or 08457 585 469 (Textphone).

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Where train services are replaced by buses during disruption, Transport for Wales will endeavour to ensure that an accessible bus is provided. If this cannot be achieved or If you have mobility needs that mean you cannot access the coach, Transport for Wales will provide an accessible alternative at no extra charge as long as you have a valid rail ticket for your journey. If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 03330 050 501 or 08457 585 469 (Textphone).

Luggage – any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? No restrictions. Luggage would be stored in the coach’s luggage compartment.

Food and drink allowed? At the coach driver's discretion, but definitely no alcohol.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? A ticket is always required and should be purchased at the earliest opportunity.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Not always available, customers are advised to use the facilities at the station before boarding the bus.

West Midlands Railway

 

Are bicycles allowed? No.

Are animals or pets allowed? No, only guide / assistance dogs.

Prams or pushchairs allowed? Yes, but at the drivers discretion as they are subject to available space.

Are the buses accessible to disabled or elderly customers? If no, what arrangements are made for customers? Buses have low floor accessibility, coaches do not. Buses are generally used on the commuter routes within the West Midlands area. If vehicles are not accessible alternative methods of transport are arranged.

Are wheelchairs / mobility scooters carried on buses? Buses have low floor accessibility so they would be allowed on the buses. However, coaches do not have low floor accessibility, therefore you would not be able to take mobility scooters / wheelchairs onboard. Accessible alternatives will be provided as required.

If you would like to speak to the assisted travel team about your requirements, please call 0800 024 8998 or 18001 0800 024 8998 (Next Generation Text)

Luggage - any restrictions on bags, suitcases or other large objects? Same restrictions as if customer was travelling on a train.

Is food and drink allowed? Food and drink is allowed at the discretion of the bus / coach operator. Alcohol is not permitted.

Is a train ticket required to travel on the bus? If so, what if there is no opportunity to buy one? A train ticket is required. Stations are either staffed, have a ticket vending machine, or a permit to travel machine. If none of these are available, you will be expected to buy a ticket at the first available opportunity.

Will there be a toilet on the bus? Toilets are only available on coaches, not on buses, and then only on longer journeys over 60 minutes.

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Last updated:   13 July 2020