I decided to take things one step at a time. I scheduled a lunchtime meeting at Marylebone Station. This meant firstly I avoided the morning and evening rush hour and secondly I didn't need to change trains or platforms once boarded at my local station. Before my TravelScoot this would have been an £80 return taxi fare. Today it cost me £9.50, so I'm already seeing a payback on my investment. Another 20 trips and I'll break even!
Since the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, the government introduced regulations concerning the accessibility of rail and public service vehicles. Accessibility has been more or less part of the design of most public transport vehicles or stations opened or introduced in the last 15 years. All of the major stations have step-free access, along with most of the local ones. Where step-free access isn't available, the train companies can sometimes provide a free or reduced rate taxi service from your local station to the nearest accessible station.
Hats off to Chilterns Railways who have enhanced the lift access at a number of their stations in recent years and they also provide a free taxi service to and from accessible stations. You can download their taxi policy here.
Getting on the train was straightforward. I declined the stationmaster's offer of a ramp to board the train. When the train arrived I missed the designated wheelchair area, however it was easy to park the Scoot in the opposite doorway (away from the platform). Once parked it was short enough not to block the central corridor of the train and narrow enough so that it still kept one of the double exit doors completely clear, should anyone need to use them. I engaged both brake locks and I was able to sit close by.
Getting off was also easy. I found that instead of pushing the Scoot off the train, I was able to walk alongside it and gently twist the throttle. This saved having to overcome the slight drag of the motor. Then it was just a case of whizzing past my fellow passengers and heading through the extra wide ticket gate and on my way.
The return trip was just as simple. This time I tried the designated wheelchair area (marked with a yellow sticker on the outside of the train). I can't say this made it any easier today, but it could be better if I was travelling at a busier time, as I would be able to sit right next my Scoot and keep the doorways completely clear.
Next time I plan to extend my journey with a bus trip from Marylebone to Oxford Street, to see if London Buses are just accessible.