The two main routes to Jersey are by air or by ferry.
Jersey Airport : If you require assistance getting on/off the aircraft, be sure to provide the airline with your requirements at the time of booking. Many airports have long walkways to the aircraft so again, ask for assistance at the time of booking NOT on arrival. Jersey has a lift-on vehicle for those who cannot climb stairs. Most recently, a long ramp is now provided to if you are able to walk up. There are manual wheelchairs available in the departure hall and designated staff who will assist.
TIP: Take a copy of your scooter/wheelchair technical details. Even if you have provided the airlines with all the details, the check-in staff always ask for weight, type of battery, dimensions etc. I have found this to be invaluable wherever I travel – especially if you experience a break down and require assistance – you have all the necessary info at your fingertips.
Transfers between Airports: Private chauffeur companies often advertise their services in the Jersey Evening Post. This can be a practical way to transfer between airports as the cars can accommodate manual and wheelchairs. Prices differ especially if a larger vehicle is needed (SUV for example), I have used some of these companies and have found them to be reliable and efficient – especially after a long flight! By law all taxis in Jersey must now be wheelchair accessible.
Condor Ferries are the main providers of sea travel between the UK and France. If you are travelling by car and book online, ensure that you have your Blue Badge handy. Advise staff of lift requirement when checking in at the terminal and the crew will park you close to the lift and staff will assist you to your seats.
Shopmobility, by pre-arrangement, will leave scooters and power chairs with Condor Ferries at The Elizabeth Terminal.
Facilities on board the fast ferries include disabled toilet with alarm.
Tip: It’s a good idea to locate the disabled toilet prior to sailing.
Travel from Jersey to Gatwick Airport : There are two terminals at Gatwick – north and south. BA now operates into the south terminal and most of the other airlines fly into the north terminal. If you require assistance getting off the aircraft and are unable to climb stairs, please advise the airline at time of booking. Not all aircraft dock onto an arm so buses are used. A special ambu-lift vehicle is provided which will take you to the passport control area.
Tip: If you are being met by friends, always allow an extra half an hour as the off-loading process can involve waiting periods.
Marcus Ferbrache has sent in this useful comment:
Hello I just wanted to congratulate you on this excellent initiative. I work for the States of Jersey where I am responsible for the gov.je site, which we redesigned to be fully accessible at the end of 2013. I read your page about air travel which mentions which terminals at Gatwick serve which airlines. This is going to change this month, so I think you need to change that text. From 24 January, all Easyjet flights will arrive and depart from the NORTH terminal, and from 25 January, all BA flights will arrive and depart from the SOUTH terminal. Please see http://www.gatwickairport.com/at-the-airport/flying-in/some-airlines-are-moving for further information. Thank you Marcus – that is really helpful for our disabled travellers!
A shuttle train operates between the two terminals which has designated wheelchair areas.
TIP: If you are travelling by the Gatwick Express train into Victoria Station and are using a wheelchair, DO NOT GO via Platforms 5 or 6. Trains stopping on these platforms are of the older type and it requires a steep climb up a ramp. Use platforms 1 or 2 where a more modern train can be accessed. Platform staff will locate the wide ramp and assist you to your designated wheelchair area. A disabled toilet is usually close by.
Tickets can be bought online but if you buy them at the Gatwick train station ticket counter, you will get a bigger discount if you are a permanent wheelchair user.
Transport accessibility overall in London is good – I often google disabled travel sites and find helpful blogs of other wheelchair users; for example, which tube stations have lifts that are out of order! I have never used the underground in London – any tips would be much appreciated as it is obviously the easiest way to get around the city.
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