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Travel costs: People with disabilities and carers

If you have disabilities or are a carer you may be entitled to free or discounted travel on public transport.

If you are a driver you may be entitled to an exemption from paying road tax, and to a blue badge which gives you parking concessions.

1. Bus concessions

England and Wales

If you are disabled you have the right to free bus travel (link opens in a new window).

Scotland

If you're over 60, or have a disability, you could be eligible for free or subsidised travel to get around Scotland and your local area.

See the Transport Scotland website for more information on Concessionary travel in Scotland

Northern Ireland

You get free travel if you are registered blind and half-price travel if you get certain disability-related benefits in Northern Ireland, for more information about travel concessions, see the NI Direct information on free bus travel and concessions (link opens in a new window).

2. Train concessions

England, Scotland and Wales

If you travel by train, you may also qualify for a Disabled Person's Railcard (link opens in a new window), which entitles you and an accompanying adult to one-third off the price of a rail ticket.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, see the NI Direct information on rail travel concessions (link opens in a new window).

3. Car: Road tax exemption

If you are a disabled driver, you may get an exemption from paying Road Tax. See the “Financial help if you’re disabled: Vehicles and transport” page of the gov.uk website (link opens in a new window) for more information about this and how to apply.

4. Car: Blue Badge Parking Permit

Anyone aged over two years old automatically qualifies for a Blue Badge, if they are:

  • Registered blind
  • Receiving the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or a War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
  • Receiving Personal Independence Payment and scored 8 points or more in the ‘moving around’ activity of your assessment. 
  • In Scotland or Wales only, receiving Personal Independence Payment and scored 8 points or more in the 'moving around activity' or 12 or more points under the 'planning and following a journey' activity of the mobility component.
  • Has received a lump sum benefit within tariff levels 1-8 of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) and has been certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking.

Other people with severe disabilities may also qualify following assessment by their local council.

The Blue Badge Parking Permit allows people who qualify for the scheme – as a driver or a passenger – to park close to where they need to go. It also provides exemption from some tolls at river crossings, bridges and tunnels as well as the London Congestion Charge (link opens in a new window)   - although in most cases you have to apply in advance to qualify. It can also be used in some European Union countries.

The scheme is available throughout the UK, but the rules about where you can park differ in each country.

There are also restrictions in the following London boroughs, which have their own concessions:

  • City of London
  • City of Westminster
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • Part of the London Borough of Camden.

How do I apply?

You apply for a Blue Badge, which is usually valid for up to three years, through your local council (link opens in a new window)

There may be a small charge.

If you live in England, Gov.UK also allows you to do a postcode search to identify your local council (link opens in a new window) It then links to information on your council’s website that explains how you apply for a Blue Badge.  This is usually paper-based but some councils may also allow you to apply online.

 

Updated April 2017

5. Carers

Carers can sometimes get travel concessions to accompany a person with disabilities on public transport. For example, if the person has a Disabled Person's Railcard (link opens in a new window), this qualifies you to a discount when you travel with them by train.

Updated: 13 May 2015