Hi, I was just reading an article by ITV about riding the train in a wheelchair in the UK. I was really surprised about needing a reservation 24hrs in advance to just ride the train! In Japan we can go whenever we want (though the bullet train may need advanced reservation since it is long distance, but in theory you can book the same day).
My experience, mainly in Wales and the bordering areas, is that I just turn up and go, a guard or the train despatcher will get the ramp – there is (at least one) one on the platforms and there is one near the wheelchair spaces on every train. The only time I pre-book assistance is when I am returning from London using Euston station, and then it is the same day, sometimes I book in the office and go get something to eat and come back in an hour.
In much of Wales our stations are unmanned (particularly in the evenings) and it is impossible to pre-book as the guard on the train will assist.
I’m very much a turn-up-and-go train user, often I don’t know 24 hours in advance what time train I will be using