There have been great improvements to public transport in recent years, and some brilliant ideas sprouting up in local communities (see Local initiatives).

But there are still many problems with public transport which make travelling inaccessible for some people with a learning disability. These problems are causing many people to feel socially excluded.

Common problems with public transport

People with a learning disability often experience the following problems when using public transport:

  • Travel information is often inaccessible, hard to understand or not available at all.
  • Specialist transport services provided by social services are often not flexible enough to truly enable independent living, especially in rural areas.
  • There can be a lack of understanding of the needs of people with a learning disability from other passengers or bus drivers.
  • There is a lack of training for customer-facing travel staff. This can result in their lack of understanding for the difficulties faced by people with a learning disability on public transport.
  • Transport costs are too high.
  • Many people with a learning disability can feel nervous or vulnerable travelling on public transport for fear of harassment, muggings or other mistreatment.

If you’ve had a bad experience on public transport, you’ll find a friendly ear at the end of the phone when you call our helpline on 0808 808 1111.

Our advisors are also pretty good at answering your questions if we haven’t answered them here.

Get in touch, we're here for you

The Learning Disability Helpline is our free help and advice line.

Our team can offer advice, information and discuss what support Mencap can offer tailored to your needs, in your area.

Call or email us

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Your rights to support on transport

Support you're entitled to on buses, taxis, trains, planes and ferries
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Subsidised transport

Free bus passes, subsidised railcards, and other transport schemes
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Local transport initiatives

From bicycle clubs to travel buddies, find out about local transport schemes
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