Manchester Wheelchair Access Travel

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom’s third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.2 million. The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium or Mancunium, which was established in about AD 79. Manchester began to expand “at an astonishing rate” around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester’s unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and resulted in it becoming the world’s first industrialised city. Manchester wheelchair access is of a high standard. Access to most venues is available and disability access to transport is also very good. 

The People’s History Museum is certainly worth a visit. This national museum charts the history of the struggle for equality and democracy in the UK, particularly in Manchester. Excellent wheelchair access allows you to enjoy the main galleries, Changing Exhibition Gallery and Community Gallery, along with interactives and activities for visitors of all ages. You can march through time using tactile maps to guide you. There are tactile drawings of scenes from around the museum to demonstrate the powerful motto that ‘there have always been ideas worth fighting for. Browse the shop for unique books and gifts and round off your day with a bite to eat in the museum’s on site cafe bar The Left Bank.

Attractions and Opportunities

Bridgewater Canal

Castlefield

Castlefield Gallery

Chetham’s Library

Imperial War Museum North

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Museum

Manchester Town Hall

Museum of Science and Industry

National Football Museum

Northern Quarter

Old Trafford

John Rylands Library

The People’s History Museum

The Village in Canal Street

Whitworth Art Gallery

Victoria Baths

Transport

Train

Train services are very accessible, and many disabled people can use the rail network without help. If you do need help, it’s best to book your journey 24 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 as possible for you to travel. They can make arrangements if the station is not step-free or usually not staffed at the time. Visit National Rail to check each train company’s accessibility policy for disabled passengers.

Tram

Metrolink is a modern system with a range of accessibility features. All Metrolink trams and tram stops are accessible for wheelchair users. Mobility scooter users must have a mobility scooter permit to take their scooter on a tram.

Every tram stop has
  • a ramp, lift, or escalator
  • step-free access for wheelchair users and people with pushchairs
  • CCTV and emergency call-points
  • platforms with tactile edges for visually impaired passengers.
Every tram has
  • an area for people who use wheelchairs
  • space for pushchairs
  • seats marked for people who have trouble standing
  • emergency call points.

Find out more information about wheelchair and mobility scooter access on Metrolink trams

Buses

Buses have ramps and can take wheelchairs. Their low-floor buses have a flat step-free entrances. Buses also have audio-visual ‘next stop’ announcements and display screens, and route numbers and destination displays meet accessible standards of size and legibility.

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