On 31 October 2011, the concessionary coach fare scheme was withdrawn for disabled and older people in England. This means that discounts of up to 50% on long-distance coach travel will no longer be available.
The scheme was withdrawn because the government has cut the Bus Service Operators Grant, which funds the concessionary coach fare scheme, by 20%.
Over 11 million people could be affected by this cut, but the decision to end the scheme was made without consultation.
Without access to affordable transport, disabled and older people will miss out on the independence and opportunities that others take for granted. Most people with a learning disability cannot drive and many use coaches to visit family and friends.
The coalition government promised to improve transport for disabled people, but this cut will do the opposite. More expensive travel will further isolate people with a learning disability, and other disabled people, across England.
Although the scheme has now been withdrawn it was not without resistance. The campaigns team would like to thank everyone who took action on this issue and emailed transport minister Norman Baker asking him to delay the withdrawal of the scheme.
National Express Disabled Coachcard
National Express are now offering a Disabled Coachcard. For £10 a year, the card gives disabled people a third off coach travel all year round. It is simple to buy and all you need in order to qualify is proof of disability. To find out how you can get a Disabled Coachcard please visit the National Express website.
To find out more about the cuts to concessionary coach fares and their likely impact, read our briefing: