Wheelchair accessible Taxis
If you need assistance getting to and from your holiday we recommend Driving Miss Daisy, who will provide you the high quality, door to door transport service you need. Driving Miss Daisy are an international companion and driving service, renowned for offering a safe, caring and reliable service for people who find it difficult to get out and about. With more than 30 service delivery teams across the UK they offer personal assistance from the customer’s living room to the starting point of their holiday. All the drivers are DBS checked, private hire licensed and first aid trained to ensure they can assist you with the highest level of care. The drivers are also Dementia Friends.
To find out more:
Trains – For a Helping Hand When Travelling By Train
National Rail want all their customers to be able to access stations and trains for a more inclusive journey experience.
They understand that when making a journey some customers would be more confident travelling with a little extra support and that’s why all train companies offer a helping hand for any trip through Passenger Assist. You can book assistance 24-hours a day by contacting Passenger Assist on freephone 0800 0223720.
Here’s a guide for more information on available assistance.
Simply book assistance for any train journey, with one number. For a helping hand around the station, to boarding a train or arranging a ramp.
The train company you’re travelling with will organise assistance for your entire journey, even if you travel with someone else to complete the trip.
The Train company you are travelling with can arrange for someone to:
How to book
Simply call for free on
24 hours before travelling or a text 60083.
For textphone/minicom 0845 60 50 600 or visit www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/travel-assistance
Let them know the journey you are planning to take, and they will connect you to the appropriate train operating company to make your booking request.
For text and textphone they will send an instant SMS with the number you need to dial from your textphone unit.
Call and texts are at no charge.
Save time and book ahead
It’s always best to book as far ahead as possible. Some train companies may ask for up to 24 hours’ notice before travel, although some may accept requests for booked assistance at short notice.
Where a station is staffed they will always help you if they can, even if you just turn up on the day of travel. However, it might mean that sometimes this might take a little bit longer to arrange as staff may be assisting other customers, dispatching a train, or looking after safety on the platform.
If staff are not able to help you straight away they will explain clearly why not and do their best to assist as soon as they can.
If Things Go Wrong
If the train you want to travel on is cancelled or delayed
You will not have to pay extra if you cannot buy your ticket before getting on the train due to an impairment.
Train companies will do everything possible to get you to the station you want to travel to. If it is not possible to access a rail replacement bus, the train company will provide an accessible alternative, such as a complimentary taxi to the station you are planning to travel to.
You can complain if your journey goes wrong and the train company will investigate it fully and fairly. You may also be entitled to compensation if there is a delay to your journey or something goes wrong . To understand your full rights please refer to the National Rail Conditions of Travel.
Throughout your journey
You can also book assistance and find out more information direct from the train company. Numbers of the different companies are listed on the British rail Website:
We have a wealth of detail relating to all National Rail served stations. Each station has its own page and you can find the one that you are looking for by using our Station Finder.
You can easily look up the accessible features of any National Rail served station, including step-free access, lift availability and accessible toilet information, with our interactive Access Map.
If you have a disability you may be eligible for a Disabled Persons Railcard.
If you do not have a Railcard and you are blind or partially sighted and travelling with a companion, or if you use a wheelchair, you can get a discount on Anytime tickets.
It can be helpful to have an idea of what facilities are available on board the train. This information is arranged by Train Company. If you are unsure which Train Company is running your train you can check using our Journey Planner.
Train Companies have different policies about carrying Mobility Scooters on trains.
Travelling by air
If you are flying, you may need to tell the airline that you or your travelling companion has dementia. Most airlines say that people with a ‘permanent or stable condition’ do not require medical clearance in order to fly. However, you should check when you book your flights what medical information the airline needs.
British Airways advise people with any condition that may affect their ability to fly to contact its Passenger Medical Clearance Unit, which offers a free advisory service (see ‘Other useful organisations’).
Some airlines may not let someone with dementia fly on their own if there is a possibility of them becoming distressed during the flight. Cabin staff are not there to help with people’s medical needs, eating or visiting the toilet, and airlines will insist that a person who needs help with these activities has someone with them for the flight. Some airlines can provide an escort for a person travelling alone, but the person travelling will have to pay for the escort’s fare.
Airports and airlines should provide anyone who has a sensory, physical or learning disability with:
Many airports in the UK now run the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme; there is more information below about this scheme.
In order to get this support, you or the person you are travelling with may be asked to provide some forms. These are the Incapacitated passengers handling advice (INCAD) form, and the Medical information form (MEDIF), which must be filled in by a GP. You can get these from travel agents and airlines. They are only valid for one journey, but some airlines provide frequent travellers with a Frequent traveller medical card (FREMEC) which can do the same job.
Details of links to the Hidden Disabilities information for our local airports is given below.
Many airlines can also help a person when arriving at the airport. They may be able to escort people from the car park, train station or taxi stand if you ask in plenty of time. You should think about what help the different airlines can give before booking, and check whether the cost of any special assistance is included in the price of your ticket. If the airline cannot help, the airport may be able to. Many airports publish information about facilities at the airport, including information for people with special needs.
If you use a wheelchair, check the policy with your airline as you may have to transfer to one of the airline’s wheelchairs when you check-in. If your flight is cancelled, ask the airline to make special arrangements for you if you need to rest. (This is a good reason to tell the airline of any medical conditions prior to travelling.)
You should pack some essentials in your carry-on bag, in case your flight is delayed or your luggage is late arriving. Take the things you or the person with dementia need to feel comfortable (such as a change of underwear, nightwear, shirt, socks, basic cosmetics and toothbrush) and any medication that you might need.
You cannot take liquids, gels and aerosols in your carry-on bag in containers larger than 100ml. All containers must fit comfortably in one transparent, re-sealable bag no larger than 20cm x 20cm (for example, a freezer bag). This includes toiletries, cosmetics and toothpastes. The only exceptions to this rule are essential medicines. Pack any other items in your hold luggage.
Wearing a sunflower lanyard at airports enables their staff to recognise that you have a hidden disability without you needing to declare it. This allows you to travel independently through the airport whilst knowing that if you need any additional support during your journey, any of their staff will be able to support. If you do find you are feeling any discomfort during your journey or would prefer extra assistance, head to one of their Assistance desks where one of their staff will be happy to help.
How to receive a sunflower lanyard
If you are travelling through Heathrow within the next six months, they would be happy to post you a lanyard wherever you are in the world.
To allow time to process your request and post your lanyard/s, please allow 4 working days.
Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include all the following information:
Please ensure that all the above information is provided as missing information will result in a delay to you receiving your lanyard/s.
Alternatively you can pick one up at one of the special assistance desks when you arrive at the airport
If you are travelling through Gatwick:
For more information please email us at: HiddenDisability@gatwickairport.com
If you are travelling through Stanstead:
London Stansted is pleased to be one of a number of UK Airports using the Sunflower scheme. By wearing their Airport Awareness Sunflower lanyard or floret, it will discreetly indicate to their staff that you have a hidden disability and would like additional support. Their staff have been specially trained to recognise these identifiers and act accordingly by providing you with extra help you may need during your journey through the terminal. To pick up a lanyard or floret at London Stansted Airport, go to either their Information Desk located in the International Arrivals or the assistance desk in zone A. Alternatively, you can use your Sunflower lanyard obtained from one of the UK airports in the scheme.
If you are travelling through Southampton and Bournemouth Airports:
Neither of these airports are currently using the Sunflower Lanyards, however they do have some information about their hidden disability support on their websites, links to all local airports are listed below.
Links to the Hidden Disabilities information for our local airports: