Here are the best and worst UK cities for letting dogs on public transport

In the UK, seeing a dog on the train or bus is a typical sight as the country is known for being dog friendly when it comes to public transport. But did you know that in certain cities, dogs are not allowed to use some public transport such a trams?

Now, TeamDogs have put together a list of some of the biggest cities in the UK and rated their public transport’s dog friendliness.

Manchester: In the city of Manchester, dogs have been banned from the tram network since 1992 when the service began. There have been several petitions to make a change, and while the bylaw was reviewed in 2013 and in 2015, it continues to be enforced.

London: The capital city is a great place to travel around with your dog. According to Transport for London’s official rulebook for customers (its ‘conditions of carriage’), passengers can take any ‘dog or inoffensive animal’ on buses, the underground tube, tram or train unless there is a good reason to refuse the pet, for example, if the pet seems dangerous or is not properly controlled.

The only rules are that you can’t let your dog on a seat and they must be kept on a lead or in a suitable container at all times. Oh and dogs must be picked up on the escalators for safety reasons.

A Transport for London spokesperson said, “While customers with dogs may sit anywhere on the bus, drivers may occasionally ask them to sit in a particular place if young children or other dogs are on board. All dogs must be either on a lead or in a carrier when travelling on a bus, but they can travel on either deck.”

An English bull terrier in the London underground (https://www.instagram.com/rockythetraveller/)

Newcastle: In the Northeastern city of Newcastle, pups have no tram ban, they’re permitted to travel free on the Newcastle Metro. They have to stay on a lead, be under control at all times and they are also not permitted up on the seats. Dog parents are advised to use the lift or stairs at stations instead of the escalators.

Edinburgh: The Edinburgh Tram runs right down the middle of Princes Street so your furry friend can get to the heart of the Scottish capital with ease. Your dog can also ride for free, but also has to abide by the stay-on-lead and keep-off-seats rules.

The city’s Lothian buses also allow dogs if there is space on the bus, but may only let one on at a time and priority will be given to guide dogs, assistance dogs and learning dogs. If you can find a space, your dog must be on their lead or in a suitable cage or carry-case.

Glasgow: Just across Scotland, the Glasgow subway will not allow larger animals unless they are an assistance dog. However, the subway will let small animals be carried in “secure containers”, such as a carry bag where the dog cannot escape or urinate on the seats.

SPT buses in Glasgow will allow one dog per deck of the vehicle, but none at all on any of its long-distance motorway-type services. There is no restriction for guide or assistance dogs.

A bull terrier in Glasgow (image: https://www.instagram.com/rockythetraveller/)

Nottingham: While you can take your dog on the tram in this East Midlands city, they must be carried in a suitable container and you will not be allowed to put the container on a seat and this is also at the discretion of staff. Assistance dogs are exempt from these rules.

Well-behaved dogs on a lead or in a carry bag are allowed on the buses, but you’ll need to pay £1 for a Dog Rover ticket, unless you have a trained assistance dog, and they can go free of charge. The buses have also marked the most appropriate seats where these helpful assistance hounds can sit on each bus, and other customers will be encouraged to give them up for you.

Birmingham: According to TeamDogs, as a response to one disgruntled traveller on Twitter earlier this year, West Midlands Metro argued that trams are designed to carry a greater number of standing passengers, so having non-assistant dogs on board would present “an additional safety risk”.

NX buses in the West Midlands city will allow “dogs or inoffensive animals” but only at the driver’s discretion. The rule book says reasons why animals will not be carried include “if the animal appears dangerous or likely to upset either other customers or animals already on the vehicle”. The usual no paws on the seat rule applies.

Bristol: Up to two well-behaved dogs at a time are allowed on local buses and they can also hop aboard sightseeing trips along the harbour with Bristol Ferry Boats and some Bristol Packet boat trips.

Cardiff: In the Welsh capital, guide and assistance dogs can travel at any time as long as there is room for them, and other dogs or small animals, which do not cause disruption to others, would be allowed to travel per bus if the driver permits them to board.

Stagecoach South Wales charges 80p per journey for non-assistance dogs, or owners can pay £6.90 for a weekly ticket. Meanwhile Stagecoach West charges £1.

A bull terrier in Cardiff (image: https://www.instagram.com/rockythetraveller/)

Blackpool: This seaside resort is another to charge a special dog fare, but the ticket means you can ride on both trams and buses. It’s 60p for a single trip or their cleverly named Rover24 ticket is £1 for 24-hours of unlimited travel for your pooch. For anyone staying for longer, a seven-day ticket is £5. The only rule is you must hold the lead at all times. Guide dogs and assistance dogs can travel for free on both modes of transport.

Sheffield: Sheffield’s Supertram does not let on any four-legged friends except for assistance dogs. However, their website also states: “Domestic pets must be held safely in a suitable cage or transporter for the safety of other passengers and staff”, so if your small dog needs to be carried to a vet you should be okay.

Stagecoach runs the bus service in the city and says “one accompanied, well-behaved dog or other small animal which will not be a danger or a nuisance for other customers or our staff is allowed to travel with you on our buses at the discretion of the driver who may reasonably decide where on the bus the animal is best carried.”

A fare may be charged for dogs.

National travel: While National Express runs some local services which allow dogs to board, it’s a different story for its national and international coach services. Even owners of guide dogs are recommended to pre-book a place so the firm can ensure the dog has enough space to lie down for the journey, and they need to provide evidence the dog is highly trained, such as “a certificate, correspondence from the training organisation, ID book, owner training logs or an email from the owner confirming what training has taken place”.

A dog in the bus (image: https://www.instagram.com/rockythetraveller/)

Meanwhile, National Rail will let customers take a maximum of two dogs for free, provided they do not endanger or inconvenience customers or staff.

And you may be able to travel with a bigger pack, but there will be a fee of no more than 50% of the adult fare for the journey made and it’s up to each train company, and each ticket inspector, to rule on that.

Dogs, unless contained in a basket, must be kept on a lead or in a harness throughout the journey, including at stations. Animals and containers must not occupy seats, otherwise a charge will be made, the website states.

 

 

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