Did you know that dogs are welcome in most buses and trains in the UK?

Did you know that dogs are welcome in most buses and trains in the UK?

Lots of people are adopting dogs now due to the coronavirus restrictions and once those lockdowns are lifted then perhaps you’ll want to travel with your dog somewhere.

Hence, our new little mini-series, did you know, which spotlights how dog friendly the world is and informs you about some facts that you might not know about traveling around the world with a dog.

Today we start with the UK, which a great country for traveling with dogs.

Once the lockdown is lifted maybe you’ll want to take a city break somewhere or take the train up north to the mountains or down south to the beaches.

If you don’t have a car then you will be delighted to know that most bus services and trains in the UK welcome dogs.

Did you know that in the UK dogs can ride on many of the buses absolutely free? They can also ride on the trains. For free!

Of course it does come with a bit of rules. So what are they?

Rocky on the top deck of the bus (sitting on my lap)

Buses:

Across the UK, dogs are allowed in most buses with the notable exception of the National Express and Megabus coaches.  Only assistant and guide dogs are allowed in National Express and Megabus coaches. Both the National Express coach and Megabus coach travel nationwide in the UK.

Rules

  • Dogs can travel at the driver’s discretion
  • must be on a leash or a container
  • must be well-behaved and obedient
  • There are a few bus services that do charge a small amount
  • Different bus lines have a different amount of maximum dogs allowed
  • Dogs are not allowed on the seat (some buses do allow them on your lap)
“Can’t you see I’m working?”

Trains:

While dogs are allowed on trains across the UK, different train services have different rules.

The Eurostar train which travels between continental Europe and the UK does not allow pet dogs, but they do allow guide and assistant dogs.

The rules for taking dogs in trains are similar to the rules for taking dogs on the bus.

Rules

  • Dogs must be on a leash or carrier
  • maximum of 2 dogs per passengers (you may have to pay if you have more)
  • Some trains, such as sleeper trains, do require a pet fee
  • They must not occupy a seat
  • Certain trains will not allow dogs in certain areas of the carriage (such as sleeper trains which may not allow dogs in restaurant areas)

If you’re in the big smoke aka London then you’ll be happy to know that dogs are also allowed on the London underground trains aka the Tube.

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway: Dogs are welcome!

Transport for London’s rules dictate:

  • Dog must be kept under control in leash or suitable container
  • Not allowed on seat
  • Staff not allowed to take charge of the dog
  • Staff could refuse entry if dog is dangerous
  • Must use staircase or lift in the station, or carry the dog (if dog is too big then staff could stop the escalator to allow dog to walk)

Similar rules apply for rapid transit services such as those in Liverpool and Tyne and Metro. The only underground system that does not allow dogs is Glasgow’s underground services.

As for trams, dogs are also allowed on the trams in London. But if you’re outside of London, check with your local rules for dogs being allowed on trams. 

TheTrams.co.uk shows that there are eight different tram services in the UK. Dogs are allowed on board in London, Croydon, Blackpool, and Newcastle but they are not allowed in Manchester, Birmingham, or in Sheffield but in Nottingham they must be brought in a container.

Of course the rules are different for guide dogs and assistance dogs, who are allowed to use these services.

So there you have it! Most buses, trains and trams across the UK allow dogs onboard with the exception of a few service lines that do not.

Now that you know you can take dogs on trains and busses, the possibilities for travel around the UK are endless. You can hop on a train today from London and be in Edinburgh, Scotland later today with your dog. Or you can even go to Bath, a city break to Leeds or just take a bus with your dog to your local park.

Where will you go?

Remember, dogs are not allowed on the seats (we broke the rules here for a photo)

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