This is a great tip for using London black cabs in a wheelchair. It is something that I wish I had known years ago because it would have saved me from many uncomfortable and unsafe journeys. After 5 years, a driver did this. I really wonder why nobody has ever done this or offered this before that. I have even taught some black cab drivers about this because they did not know it.
Did you know you can ask the driver to flip up the back seats? This creates a lot more room for you to turn around in your wheelchair so you can face backward with ease.
The driver should have a special extension that they can put onto the seatbelt to make it long enough that you can actually still wear it.
The driver can then put one of the seats back down so that if you have a friend, they can sit with you and not be squashed between your wheelchair and the seat.
I really wish I had known this years ago because it would have made such a difference to so many journeys! I have often felt carsick because I travelled sideways, which is especially unpleasant when you go over speed bumps.
Additionally, I used to really think that it was overkill when people strapped down my wheelchair. But after experiencing how much your wheelchair slides about when it is not strapped down, I now really appreciate anytime that my wheelchair is secured. I also always wondered why there was no legal regulation about wheelchair users wearing a seatbelt when all of the able-bodied travellers in a black cab are required to wear a seatbelt by law. It made me feel like my life was less valuable.
Whenever I travelled with someone else, I always felt awkward because their legs would have to be crushed into the very small space left between my wheels and the seat. This was a very uncomfortable ride for them too!
For many more great tips, you can read my personal blog Susie’s wheelchair adventures
Or for thousands of other wheelchair travel reviews, visit WheelchairWorld.org. Twitter: @worldwheelchair Facebook: Wheelchair World
Image credit: Susie Twydell