Services accessible wheelchair transports in Europe
Transportation is one of the crucial points of an accessible journey and is also one of the most complex to organize.
Travelers in wheelchair can easily find accessible hotels .
Transport is mostly managed by small local companies that are difficult to find and whose reliability is difficult to assess “a priori” in terms of accessibility.
So to get services accessible wheelchair transports is usually complicated
In Europe, the most common accessible transport is made up of vans with rear hydraulic platform or with ramp, rear or side.
In Europe these vehicles can carry a maximum of 8 people plus the driver.
The most popular vehicles are Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Fiat Ducato, Renault Traffic and similar vehicles.
They can generally accommodate up to a maximum of 3 wheelchairs on board and 4 people seated plus the driver; but in most cases there are only 1 or 2 seats while seated passengers can also reach 5 or 6.
There are also smaller vans like Mercedes Viano and Vito, Chrisler Voyager, Renault Kangoo, Fiat Doblo, …
They carry a maximum of 1 wheelchair attached and up to 4/5 people seated depending on the model.
Travelers must booke these vehicles in advance for transfers, guided tours, excursions and even multi-day trips (in this case the rental cost will also include the costs of accommodation and food for the driver)
Taxis: Really accessible difficult to get!
Affordable taxis are much less available.
Only in some European countries, and especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, are there accessible taxis.
In London and English cities, the classics have access to a full-sized manual wheelchair edge.
Anywhere in Europe people with small folding manual chairs can use normal taxis if they are able to get around in a seat.
For large groups, organized by travel agencies and tour operators, there are also vehicles that can accommodate a greater number of people and wheelchairs.
Larger vans up to 12/14 seats but in general the number of chairs on board does not exceed 3.
Coach with lifting platform that can carry up to 20/30 people and up to 6/8 wheelchairs) hooked on board (each wheelchair hooked normally takes the space of 4 seats).
The trips organized by bus leading to different timing because at each stop time fer drop off and go back up the wheelchair with the platform can be long; therefore the program will have to foresee a lower number of visits and daily stops.
In Europe, the train has traditionally been the most popular means of long-distance transport.
With the advent of high-speed rail networks, rail transport competes with air transport to reach the main cities of the continent.
Access on board of the high-speed trains (in Italy the Frecce of the State Railways and Italo of a private company, in France TGV, in Spain AVE, in Germany ICE, …), it’s easy for people using wheelchairs.
These trains have accessible toilets.
Access is provided in the main stations by railway staff with portable lifts. The assistance must be booked, together with the tickets, as soon as possible.
Due to the limited extension of the European territory, traditionally, the flights, more expensive than the train, were chosen only to reach the most distant destinations.
But the increase in railway tariffs due to the construction of high-speed networks and the birth of “low cost” airlines have changed the reality of transport on the continent.
Air transport for disabled people is organized on the basis of categories, established by IATA, linked to the level of assistance required: WCHR, WCHS, WCHC.
The passenger in a wheelchair, unable to move independently, falls into the WCHC category (the most assisted).
It is important to know that the cabin crew cannot help the passenger in using the toilets and that aircraft toilets, even those with the wheelchair logo, are tiny.
Airlines: Procedures and precautions!
The airports provide assistance departing and arriving collaborating with the airline that marks the journey of a passenger with a wheelchair.
The passenger delivers his wheelchair at check in and retires at the luggage delivery.
At the airport, use a wheelchair provided by the airport.
The wheelchair with batterioe must have gel batteries, have insulated electrical contacts and have the electronic adequately protected to avoid damage during loading and unloading.
Upon arrival, the traveler must immediately verifivare the condisioni the wheelchair before leaving the delivery area and immediately declare a form resulting damages.
The “low cost” airlines flying from / to remote airports, costno less but tarsferimenti can affect the total cost of travel.
Shipping, in our time, is a very different transport sector than it has been for centuries.
Today, ship trips are sea or river cruises.
The large cruise ships sailing the Mediterranean and all the seas of the world offer one of the most accessible tourist habitat.
Several large elevators connect the bridges where there are many acccessible cabins.
All attractions are accessible 100
Cruises: Shore excursions? A big problem!
The dream ends in the moment of shore excursions.
In some cases navuìi not dock at a pier but it goes to the ground with gtender that are often inaccessible
The big buses waiting passengers are normal buses without hydraulic platforms.
AccessiblEurope organizes excursions accessible from all major European ports in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
Ships sailing the major European rivers (Rhine, Danube, Moselle, …) are generally not accessible except for a couple of ships that have an accessible cabin but the interior spaces are limited.
Some ferries are accessible, for example those that connect Italy to Sardinia, some ferries in the Mediterranean, ferries in the Baltic Sea, probably in North America, and in some other countries in the world of which, however, we have no information.
Many European cities have accessible water transport services at various levels.
They are both regular transport (the “vaporetto” in Venice) that tourist lines (the “bateaux mouche” in Paris, the tour of the Amsterdam canals, Brugge, …).
If the boat is accessible it is certainly a pleasant and restful way to visit a big city.
For any information or details on services accessible wheelchair transports do not hesitate to contact us
Services directory internal links:
- Accessible accomodations
- Accessible transports
- Accessible vans without driver & equipments rental
- Tours in escorted and/or assisted groups
- Holidays with dialysis, rehabilitation, therapies
External links to Accessible Tourism sites:
- AccessibleItaly.it (Accessible tours and stays in Italy)
- AccessibleAsia.com (Accessible tour and stays in Asia)