Tips on getting out and about

Getting out and about and using public transport can be challenging for a lot of people who don't drive. I myself can find it a major hurdle on a daily basis and find that although some people are helpful and friendly, this is not always the case.

There is more support in some regions that others and I’m sure many people have learnt some invaluable hints and tips on how to navigate around your local area and beyond with more ease. Therefore, a place where we could all share our tips, hints and experiences on getting out and about might be useful.

Please feel free to share your stories, tips, hints and experiences below.

Comments (9)

Lucky Lady's picture

Reply to JRM93 by Lucky Lady

I have RP (diagnosed 15 years ago) and find getting out and about very hard indeed. Everyone moved at such a busy pace these days that I'm constantly being nudged out of the way when trying to get on public transport etc. I often feel invisible. I have a national express coach card which gives me cheaper travel and I know you can get a railcard but I wouldn't trust myself on a train!! Has anyone ever used the 'assisted travel' people for journeys?

SteveW's picture

Reply to Lucky Lady by SteveW

Hi everyone,
Agree that getting about isn't easy, but it does get a bit better with practise. I have a Railcard and use trains quite a lot. I find it is important to plan my journey carefully so I can minimise surprises!
National Rail Assistance can be very helpful, especially getting on the train and getting to reserved seats. It varies a bit depending on stations and isn't always as joined up as you might expect.
Help on the Underground is also usually quite good.
I use a long cane so this warns others that I need a bit extra time and space- usually seems to work!

Ali's picture

Reply to Lucky Lady by Ali

Hi, I have RP. I use public transport. I have a disabled bus pass and rail card. I have used assisted travel before and can say the service is brilliant. I use public transport when I am travelling independently and need to change trains. Independence is very important to me. I am sure you are the same.

Rob123's picture

Reply to Jessica_Moderator by Rob123

Hi Jessica and everyone. Although i only have a small amount of vision in my right i am a regular use of both trains and buses in both my local area, and further afield too. i use assisted travel both on the trains and the tube in London, and by and large this is really excellent, and makes travel very accessible. I also use the local buses on a day to day basis, and the help is very good here. The one improvement i feel that could be made for bus users is for more buses to have audio onboard to tell people the location of each stop. I know this is available in some of the larger cities. Robin

-InTheWorldOfTheBlind-'s picture

Reply to Rob123 by -InTheWorldOfTheBlind-

I have to say what Lucky Lady has to say resonates with me. I have no vision in my left eye and it's only since losing that vision that I've realised how quickly people cut across you assuming that you can see. I really need to take my symbol cane with me more often. My left eye is now more obviously blind (I presume it has a cataract or something but I can't see it too well myself - another thing that didn't occur to me before it happened, that you use your left eye to look at your left eye when looking into a mirror)

Rob123's picture

Reply to -InTheWorldOfTheBlind- by Rob123

I think that this is good that you are going to do this. I have some vision in my right eye, but i am able to get around my local area without using my ling care, but if i am going anywhere that is unfamiliar i always take my long care, as it's so much easier to get help if i require it.

Sandisxx's picture

Reply to Jessica_Moderator by Sandisxx

I am sight loss with small vision and sometimes it hard to get about especially if it's busy or depending on the weather if it's bright.
Using a long cane: it helps as people see that you have a visually impairment and most people move out of the way for you but some make it difficult, you can only do your best. Sometime I feel some people assume if they see some with disability that they need help all the time as they come up and suggest things to you but I knew there just trying to help.
Using transport: Its sometimes hard reading bus numbers and string what buses are coming along but people at the bus stop are really helpful, sometimes it hard looking to see when it's time to get of the bus of your location but I feel it helps when you ask the driver to tell you when you get to your location.

Neil_S's picture

Reply to Sandisxx by Neil_S

Hi all. Interesting post on travel and getting out and about. My tip would be especially for train travel is to only go along one or two stations in order to get more familiar with platform layout, getting on and off, listening to (or looking at) the audio visual announcements, etc. Hopefully the next station is not a large multi-plartform layout, but if it is you could book Passenger Assistance from the train operator beforehand.

Rob123's picture

Reply to Neil_S by Rob123

Hi Jessica Although this tread has been running for a while maybe it could be added to the main discussion page as a seperate topic. Rob