Rail Travel in Oxford
County advice overview
Transport for Oxford
Train services are becoming far more accessible, and many disabled people can use the rail network without help.
If you do require help its best to book your journey 6 hours in advance, for example if you:
- find it hard to get on and off trains
- use a wheelchair – on most trains you’ll need a boarding ramp and to reserve a wheelchair space
- use a mobility scooter – some train companies have restrictions
- have a visual impairment and need guidance at the station or help getting on and off the train
- have difficulty walking long distances – some stations have wheelchairs or electric buggies.
By booking your journey in advance, National Rail and the train company can make it as easy as possible for you to travel. They can make arrangements if the station is not step-free or usually not staffed at the time.
You can find out about accessibility at stations on the National Rail information website
Just type the name of your station (or 3 letter code if you know it) and you can find out detailed information for that station under the various headings.
Great Western Rail
Planning a journey
The Train Line is a great way to plan your journey
Help with costs
A Senior Railcard is available to people over 60 and costs £30 for a year or £70 for three years. It gives a discount of 1/3 off rail journeys.
The Disabled Person’s Rail card
The disabled person’s railcard costs £20 for a year and £54 for three years. It will entitle you to a saving of 1/3 off rail journeys.
You are eligible for the Disabled Persons Railcard if you:
- receive Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
- receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at either:
the higher or lower rate for the mobility component, or
the higher or middle rate for the care component
- have a visual impairment
- have a hearing impairment
- have epilepsy
- receive Attendance Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance
- receive War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
- receive War or Service Disablement Pension for 80% or more disability
- buy or lease a vehicle through the Motability scheme
Travel pass for disabled people
The Disabled Persons Railcard is for people with a disability that makes travelling by train difficult. You will qualify if you meet one of the following criteria, but please contact us if you would like to discuss your individual circumstances.
Travel pass for older people
This is a Travel pass which offers you reduced cost travel via trains.
Passenger Assist is a national system used by all train companies, which allows them to make the necessary arrangements for your journey.
If you are planning on travelling on national rail services, you can request an assistance booking in advance – now up to 2 hours before your journey is due to start, any time of the day.
Passenger Assist includes:
- offering a helping hand to navigate the station
- support when boarding the train
- meeting you from your train and taking you to your next train or the exit
- arranging a ramp on or off your train
- assistance relating to a non-visible impairment
- carrying your bag(s) – up to three items of luggage as per the National Rail Conditions of Travel
The train company you’re travelling with will organise assistance for your entire journey, even if you travel with another train company as part of your journey.
You can also “turn up and go” without booking assistance in advance. If you require assistance at short notice, make yourself known to a member of staff or use a Help Point when you arrive at the station.
You can request assistance either via the train company you are travelling with or nationally through Network Rail
Great Western Rail
If you have a disability, non-visible disability, or are elderly, you can pre-book journey assistance. We can make sure you get all the help you need for your journey and will arrange everything, including changes, and connections that involve other train companies.
Cross Country Trains
You can book travel assist up to 2 hours before your journey.
Telephone 0800 030 9224
Our Assisted Travel Team can help you in all kinds of situations, such as:
Advice about access at the stations you want to use.
Assisting you when you arrive at the station, change trains or reach your destination.
If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult, you may qualify for discounted travel – ask the Assisted Travel Team for details.
Travelling with a Mobility aid
All train operators in Oxford can carry manual or powered wheelchairs up to a maximum size of 700mm wide by 1200mm long and not exceeding a weight of 300kg including the passenger.
As there are a limited number of spaces available to wheelchair users on each train, it is important that you book your space in advance.
However, the rules for scooters are different for each operator as below:
If you are making a connection to an onward service with another operator, remember to check if you will need a permit for the connecting train.
Scooters up to a maximum size of 700mm wide by 1200mm long and not exceeding a weight of 300kg (including the passenger).
Trains have spaces in carriages that are clearly marked on the outside of the train. Wheelchair spaces are available within standard class accommodation only.
Cross Country Trains
Can carry scooters up to a maximum size of 700mm wide by 1200mm long and not exceeding a weight of 300kg (including the passenger).
However, please note when travelling with a mobility scooter, this must be folded and stowed in the luggage compartment
To travel on Northern Rail, scooter users will need to join the new scooter scheme and, once approved, will receive a permit and a sticker for their scooter, depending on certain conditions being met.
Criteria for the scheme:
– The scooter must be a class 2 vehicle with a maximum speed of 4 mph
– Maximum length of 120cm and width of 70cm (standard wheelchair footprint)
– A turning radius no larger than 150cm
– Maximum weight, including rider is no more than 300kg (47 stone)
– Minimum climb ability of six degrees
– Must have anti-tip wheels fitted to the rear of the scooter.
Apply for a permit via Mobility Scooters | Travel Information | Northern (northernrailway.co.uk)
Further information Scooter_SHED.pdf (northernrailway.co.uk)
Scooters permit link
We welcome customers in mobility scooters on our trains and can carry customers in scooters and wheelchairs up to 700mm wide and 1200mm long with a maximum weight of 300kg (including your weight). Customers may remain in scooters and wheelchairs when travelling and can use the dedicated wheelchair bays on our trains.
Priority seating is available in every coach and is situated nearest the vestibules and is clearly signed.
Travel Assistant Team are available to help with any bookings on 0800 138 5560