Trams offer easier and faster level access to wheel chairs and mobility aids than buses


Above are two photos from Nottingham. Trams are required to have a minimal gap and level difference between doorstep and platform as shown in the attached photos. The PRM TSI (Persons of Reduced Mobility – Technical Specification for Interoperability) and The Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Non-Interoperable Rail System) Regulations 2010 require that the horizontal distance be 75mm or less and a vertical difference be 50mm or less. Trams generally easily beat these figures with Nottingham having a gap generally less than 25mm.

Buses are somewhat different in that as they are not on a fixed route, the alignment at stops cannot be guaranteed. Modern buses do lower themselves to match the raised kerb to minimise the gap. Also modern buses may have deployable ramps for gap free wheel chair access. I have observed quite a time penalty with the deployable ramps.

Info and tram pics from Tim Kendall, UK Tram, LRTA.