Geneva has made great efforts to provide facilities for disabled drivers.
This covers not only drivers who may have problems with mobility but also people who are providing transport to those suffering from disabilities.
Geneva, like many other large cities, can be something of a ‘challenge’ in terms of finding parking spaces.
The standard European Union blue disabled person badge is accepted and recognized in Switzerland. You can find out how to apply for one by consulting the AA’s website. It’s worth keeping in mind that you may be entitled to one even if someone else is doing the driving.
Although all across Europe there have been some reported instances of local authorities not respecting what this badge implies, in practice, it should entitle you to park in designated disabled bays or in very limited time parking.
Remember though that your badge doesn’t give you an open-ended entitlement to park wherever you wish and for however long you wish. It does have certain conditions but even so, in Geneva, you should find that it will allow you to:
• Park in reserved car park spaces marked with yellow lines and an associated wheelchair image. Note that you cannot park in spaces designated for disabled people if they also contain specifics relating to a person’s name or their car registration number.
• You may be able to park for up to 2 hours in restricted access, limited time, pedestrian and no-parking areas in certain city centre areas. Check with the local police for details.
• Potential free parking in major car parks if signs indicate that you can. If you have difficulty understanding what the position is, speak to a local attendant.
Hotels, Large Buildings and Government Offices
In theory, regulations now require certain types of establishment to provide full wheelchair access support and assistance to visitors with other forms of disabilities.
In practice although Geneva has done well, again as is the case in most cities, it isn’t yet at a stage where it can be said to be perfect.
Things are changing rapidly and for the most part you should have no problem, however, it would only be prudent to check in advance with your destination to see whether they have appropriate support available for your particular circumstances.
There are a number of bodies in Switzerland specifically set up to help people with disabilities who are trying to travel around.
Perhaps one of the most useful of these is the “Fondation Foyer Handicap” which is specifically geared up to try and help people with wheelchairs.
“Geneva Handicap” is also an extremely helpful forum which can help to connect you up with institutions that may be able to help in your particular travel circumstances.
Note that most of these services will be provided in French and/or German. Also, be prepared to hear the terms “handicap” and “handicapped” used regularly in French, as they are considered normal, unlike in the UK where they are now seen as typically undesirable.
Getting There – Airport Help
You are entitled to free assistance to get you from your flight of arrival through to the pick-up point of any firm offering Geneva Airport transfers. You should contact the airport administrative authorities for further information.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable Geneva Airport transfers, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
Find us at: http://www.shuttledirect.com