Rail Replacement Vehicles

There are key differences between the vehicles that we might use for rail replacement services. 

We often use a bus for shorter journeys or those with frequent stops. We might use a coach for longer journeys where comfort and luggage space is more likely to be required. For customers who might require wheelchair access or space for an assistance dog, we would look to use a vehicle best suited to their needs, such as a taxi or a minibus.

double cecker bus in London


A bus is a vehicle that:

  • Is speed limited to 60mph
  • Not usually fitted with a tachograph
  • Usually has a rear-facing wheelchair space without restraints
  • A small dedicated luggage space within the vehicle 
accessible coach Coach

A coach is a vehicle that:

  • Is speed limited to 70mph
  • Fitted with a tachograph
  • Can have a forward facing wheelchair space with restraints
  • Luggage space underneath the seating or at the rear of the vehicle
  • Might have a toilet or kitchen on board 
accessible taxi Wheelchair Accessible Taxi

Sometimes called a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle or ‘WAV’, the vehicle is:

  • Limited by the road speeds
  • Licensed by a local authority
  • Has restraints
  • Has a forward or rear facing wheelchair space on board
  • Can carry assistance dogs       
  • Seats that move to accommodate assistance dogs.
  • Can have luggage space as well
  • The driver will be licensed by a local authority and the training requirements are set out by the licensing body.
saloon car taxi Saloon Car Taxi

Although these can also be an MPV, estate or SUV body style, these are vehicles that a wheelchair user must transfer from their wheelchair into a car seat to use. The vehicle will have a luggage boot. Assistance dogs can sit in the footwell because the seats can be moved to accommodate.

wheelchair accessible minibus

Wheelchair Accessible Minibus

​​​​​​​A vehicle that can carry multiple wheelchair users and ambulant customers. These vehicles have:        

  • Between 10 and 22 seats
  • Space for assistance animals can be created if required
  • No separate luggage space and seats can be adjusted if required to create space
  • A ramp or lift to enable passengers to board.





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Last updated:   13 December 2021