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Vehicles for wheelchairs launched by Uber in London

Uberwav as it has been named is a new service providing wheelchair-accessible vehicles to folk in London. Uberwav can be requested at the touch of a button using their app however this is only in affect in London to begin with.

One refreshing fact for all wheelchair users is that the Uberwav service is available at the same cost as cheaper UberX fares. Their fleet of 55 wheelchair friendly vehicles in use already and the scheme is proving very popular indeed. On the back of this success other councils are considering granting Uber a license including Brighton who were quick off the mark.

Many accessibility charities were involved in the new service's development so we hope that there has been consideration given to the real needs of wheelchair users and that the drivers are also trained on how to help.

Transport for All, Scope and Whizz-Kidz are all supporting the launch of UberWav, and Uber states that it is investing over £1m in the first 18 months to establish the service.

Uber spokesman Tom Elvidge said "We're proud to be making one of the biggest ever investments in accessible private hire in London and will be working hard to keep waiting times as low as possible as the service expands". The vehicles have been adapted and include a rear entry ramp including a winch and restraints and will allow the transport of the wheelchair user plus one additional passenger.

Mr Elvidge also stated that he would expect a wait of "around 25 minutes" in Zones 1-2 and "40 minutes" in Zones 3-4 during the first few weeks of the new service.

The new service was launched as Uber had experienced competition from London's black cabs that are already wheelchair friendly although less suitable to their bespoke converted vehicles. One consideration we should all make is to assess whether your chair is crash tested and there for safer to use in one of Ubers converted vehicles. If you are looking for a crash tested wheelchair please click here.

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