Government and local councils offer discounts, schemes, and free passes for some public transport. We’ve listed these below based on transport type.
Trains and the underground
Disabled persons railcard
You can get up to 1/3 off rail tickets with a disabled persons railcard.
You are eligible if you:
- receive Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
- receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at either:
- the higher or lower rate for the mobility component, or
- the higher or middle rate for the care component
- have a visual impairment
- have a hearing impairment
- have epilepsy
- receive Attendance Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance
- buy or lease a vehicle through the Motability Scheme (see below).
If someone is travelling with you, they can also get the same discount. It costs £20 for a year, or £54 for three years. Find out more about the Disabled Persons Railcard and apply online.
Disabled person's Freedom Pass
If you live in Greater London you can apply to get a Disabled Person's Freedom Pass. If you have a Freedom Pass you can travel for free on all underground trains and most other forms of public transport across London.
You can also travel for free on buses anywhere in the country. Find out more about the Freedom Pass.
The Blue Badge Scheme
A Blue Badge enables you to park closer to where you want to go - but you need to display this on your dashboard so it’s visible to Parking Enforcement Officers, otherwise you might get a parking fine. You shouldn't give the Blue Badge to anyone else.
You can park:
- on single or double yellow lines
- anywhere with a blue wheelchair symbol
- anywhere with an "on-street parking" meter or pay-and-display machine.
This scheme helps disabled people to travel independently, either as a driver or passenger. When people can park close to where they need to go, they have better access to jobs, services and public places. See if you are eligible for a Blue Badge and apply.
The Motability Scheme
The Motability Scheme aims to enable people with a disability to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
Motability is a charity set up by the government to enable people with a disability to get around and be more independent.
If you get a mobility allowance like Disability Living Allowance or PIP, you should be able to get help from Motability, who will take all or part of your mobility benefit to pay for the lease of the vehicle you choose.
Adapted and wheelchair access vehicles are also available. Find out more about the Motability Scheme.
London Taxicard Scheme
The London Taxicard scheme provides door-to-door transport in London taxis at lower costs for people with mobility problems.
Many people with a learning disability benefit from it. The Taxicard can be used 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The benefits of the scheme differ in each borough so contact your local council to ask about the Taxicard Scheme in your borough. Apply for a Taxicard in your borough or find out more.
The Dial-a-Ride scheme
The Dial-a-Ride scheme is a door-to-door minibus service aimed at meeting the needs of people with mobility problems.
Dial-a-Ride helps people to access their local community. This is important for people’s independence.
Dial-a-Ride is normally funded by local councils or charitable organisations. As a result, Dial-a-Ride Schemes are different across the country. Some local councils charge for the service.
To use Dial-a-Ride you simply call and request the journey you want. Dial-a-Ride will check their schedule and add your journey if possible.
If you can be flexible with your request it's more likely you'll get the service you request. Dial-a-Ride is a like a minibus service, so you may share the journey with several other people who will get picked up and dropped off at different places from you. As such, your journey may take a bit longer.
Dial-a-Ride is often fully booked at the most busy times of the day, so it's not recommended to get you to and from work.
You cannot use Dial-a-Ride for going to a day centre, school or college, or to medical appointments. There are other services for these journeys, such as free home to school transport (see below).
Free home to school transport
If you have a child with a learning disability who is unable to walk to school, they are entitled to free transport to school until they are 16 years old, no matter how far away you live from their school.
You can arrange this through your local council, which must provide transport suitable for your child’s needs. Find out about the transport your local council provides.
Buses and coaches
If you have a learning disability in the UK, you are entitled to a free bus pass, and free travel for your carer.
Disability bus schemes differ slightly in different countries, so here’s a breakdown for you:
If you live in England and have a learning disability, you can use your Bus Pass anywhere in England at these times:
- Mon-Fri: 9.30am - 11pm
- Sat-Sun: any time
- Bank holidays: any time
If you live in Wales, you can contact your local council to apply for your free Bus Pass. You can use your pass at any time of day, and you may also request a companion pass if you have a carer or need assistance to travel. Find out more about concessionary travel in Wales.
If you are a Scottish resident and have a learning disability, you are entitled to a National Entitlement Card, which gives you free travel on buses in Scotland. If you have a carer, they're entitled to travel for free. Find out more about the Disabled Bus Pass in Scotland.
In Northern Ireland
If you live in Northern Ireland you are entitled to a Half Fare SmartPass, which gives you free travel on scheduled bus and train journeys in Northern Ireland.
To be eligible for this pass you must:
- have a learning disability
- be known to your local Health and Social Services Trust
- be aged between 16 and 59
- have been a permanent resident in Northern Ireland for at least three months.
Shopmobility is a scheme lending people with mobility issues a wheelchair or powered scooter. The scheme aims to enable people with a disability to shop or access more leisure facilities.
We have produced easy read guides for some of the schemes for you to read online of print out.