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Concessions on public transport

If you or the person you look after have mobility problems, getting around can be more costly. There are several schemes that give transport discounts for carers and people with disabilities.

On the buses

Older people and people with disabilities can travel free on local buses anywhere in England between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and at any time during the weekend and on bank holidays. Older people and people with disabilities can apply for a free bus pass from the local authority. Some authorities offer free travel for longer periods, and some allow a companion to travel with the pass holder for free.

To apply for a free bus pass you must be of pensionable age (the age of eligibility for women is their pensionable age, and for men it is the pensionable age of a woman born on the same day). You can also apply if you have a disability which means you:

  • are blind or have a severe visual impairment
  • are profoundly or severely deaf
  • are without speech
  • have a disability, or have suffered an injury, which has had a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to walk
  • don't have arms or have long-term loss of the use of both arms
  • have a learning disability
  • would have a driving licence application refused on the grounds of physical fitness under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Further information on applying for a disabled person's bus pass is available from GOV.UK.


The person you care for may be eligible for a Disabled Person’s Railcard, which allows them up to a third off the price of rail tickets. A carer, or anyone else who travels with the disabled person, will also get this discount. The Railcard is issued for either a one-year or three-year period. To be eligible, the person you are caring for must:

  • be registered as visually impaired
  • be registered as deaf or using a hearing aid
  • have repeated attacks of epilepsy even though they receive drug treatment
  • have epilepsy which currently prevents them from driving a motor vehicle
  • receive Attendance Allowance
  • receive Employment and Support Allowance
  • receive the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
  • receive the higher or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • receive War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement
  • receive War or Service Disablement Pension for an 80% or more disability
  • be buying or leasing a vehicle through the Motability scheme

Children aged five to 16 with disabilities are eligible for a Disabled Person's Railcard, allowing an adult to travel with them for a third of the cost of an adult fare while the child pays the normal child fare.

Other rail concessions

There are also rail concessions for people who are registered as blind or visually impaired who do not have a Disabled Person’s Railcard. The discount only applies if they are travelling with a sighted person. A document confirming sight impairment must be presented at the ticket office when buying the ticket.

People who are registered as blind or visually impaired can also buy an adult season ticket that allows a carer or another adult to travel with them for free. A document confirming sight impairment must be presented at the ticket office when buying the ticket.

Wheelchair users who remain in their wheelchair throughout the journey are eligible for discounts for themselves and one other person travelling with them.

London Underground

If you or the person you're caring for are aged 60 or older or have a disability and live in London, you can apply for a Freedom Pass. Freedom Pass holders can travel around the capital for free on the Underground, overground trains, trams and Docklands Light Railway. The rules for getting a Freedom Pass are the same as those for the national free bus pass scheme (see above).

You can apply for a Freedom Pass at any London post office. If you live in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Sutton or Wandsworth you will need to apply directly to your local authority.

London Trams

Wheelchair users are allowed to travel free on trams whether or not they have a Freedom Pass. All access to trams is step-free.


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Page last reviewed: 19/08/2013

Next review due: 19/08/2015

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