22nd August 2017
Parking and access
There are three disabled parking spaces close to the entrance of the building. There is a flat entrance leading in with a large double door.
There are also some outside benches suitable for a wheelchair user if you wanted to sit outside for a drink on a hot summer’s day.
I received good customer service throughout my visit. I was shown quickly to my table where they had already removed a chair so I could fit my wheelchair underneath straight away. My waiter Chris was very friendly and helpful and answered all of my questions and requirements.
They had taken the time to choose my table which was close to everything I needed – for example toilets, salad bar and drinks refill station.
There is one disabled toilet at the back of the building which requires a RADAR key. There is enough room within the toilet for a wheelchair to turn around safely. There is also enough room for a family member or PA to assist the wheelchair user.
The toilet has handrails for both transfer sides, the sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for a wheelchair user.
The toilets are nice and clean and safe to use and the lighting is nice and bright.
The restaurant serves breakfast from 9.00am to11.30am. The varied menu starts at 11.30am and ends at 10.00pm.
The restaurant has an open plan seating area but there are also quiet booths. The menus were nice and clear but they do not offer braille or large print menus.They are looking into it and I will update with any changes.
If a customer requires their food to be liquidised they will do this for you, however, you need to bring in your own liquidiser. They will also let you bring in your own food if you require it to be liquidised. They are happy to host groups of less able customers.
They allow guide dogs into the building and there was also some quiet music playing in the background.
16th August 2017
I was very impressed with the customer service provided by Peter Allen, the training coordinator at Stagecoach. So firstly, a big thanks to him and also Roger who assisted.
Peter talked me through the three day training programme for staff. Day One is focused on Customer Care and Service. Day Two is specifically focused on Disability and Social Inclusion. Day Three is focused on dealing with any difficult situations the drivers may encounter. I think that all of these factors show that Stagecoach really care about their customers and in particular helping the disabled community.
They take into consideration all aspects of disability whether this be physical or behavioural. Drivers ensure there is no discrimination and are taught how to deal with all situation. This encourages all members of the community to feel safe and comfortable on Stagecoach buses.
There is an easy-to-find contact address on the website: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/regional-help-and-contact/west – this can be changed to any area code, I am pleased to say there is a specific disability contact line and email address which is:
Telephone: 01452 418630 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you call this helpline Stagecoach will arrange an out of service bus for a disabled user to practice getting on and off the bus.This way when using a scheduled bus the customer will feel prepared and won’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable. For wheelchair or mobility scooter users or the less mobile the driver will get off the bus and assist with the ramp and also the suspension will be lowered to the curb. All wheelchair and mobility scooter users are able to use the buses free of charge with a bus pass.
Getting my 600mm wheelchair on and off the bus was fairly easy, it was slightly tight to the door of the bus but apart from that there was plenty of space. The driver made sure I was in a safe position before driving off.
Stagecoach have a policy that if a wheelchair/mobility scooter is not able to fit within the designated area due to another customer already using the space, they will call a taxi service free of charge and wait with them until the taxi arrives. The exception to this may be if it is a regular ten or twenty minute service the driver may ask if the wheelchair user doesn’t mind waiting until the next bus. However, they will never leave a wheelchair user at the side of the road without organising some type of transport.
Stagecoach were kind enough to give us their presentation slides relating to disability customers that they present in their training programmes.
Gloucester bus station is currently under major reconstruction, however the accessibility around the station is suitable. There is plenty of space and raised areas on and off the platforms
2nd August 2017
My overall experience of travelling in a wheelchair from Gloucester Train Station was good. The Station Master, Mike, was helpful from start to finish and advised me on how I could contact the Assisted Travel helpline. The train station and the trains are kept clean, tidy and safe to ensure a pleasant journey.
I called the Assisted Travel helpline a few days ahead of my journey to inform them of my requirements.
Once I got to the train station I informed the station master of my arrival. He advised me which platform my train was departing from. As the train was arriving, the station guard approached to assist me. Then he laid out the ramp and helped me on the train safely. There was a designated area for wheelchair users on the train to sit comfortably. I received the same good service when exiting the train at the other end.
There are four disabled parking spaces at the train station. However, the parking and entrance leading up to the station are the biggest downfall. The disabled parking is located on the far side of the car park and you have to cross the busy and uneven car park with no walkway.
There are two large, wide, automatic doors leading into the train station with a flat entrance. There was an easy access, low reception point where I was able to purchase my train ticket easily. There was a large electronic ticketed gate for an electric or manual wheelchair to fit through.
There was a lift to all platforms, it was large enough for my PA and me. It was also large enough for me to turn around safely in my wheelchair. The buttons for the lift are all at a height that I could reach from my wheelchair. There was a speaker inside and outside the lift to notify you of the doors opening and closing and the lift going up or down. Exiting the lift leads you to a wide footbridge which leads you over the train lines, safely to the other platforms.
All walkways are wide and there are also easy access, indoor waiting rooms.
With the loud noise of passing trains this may not be suitable for people that don’t like loud noises.
There were two disabled toilets, one located in the male toilets and one in the female. The facilities in both were good. However, this was not ideal as my female PA would have to enter the male toilets to assist me.
There are handrails for both transfer sides. The sink and soap dispenser are both accessible for a wheelchair user but the hand dryer was too high.
There was a workable lock on the door therefore this doesn’t require a RADAR key. There was good lighting and they were clean and safe to use.
There was a small café serving hot, cold drinks and sandwiches. This was located just inside the entrance to the Train Station. There were two accessible double doors and there were small round tables suitable for a wheelchair user.
There were no menus as such therefore no larger print or braille menus.