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Disability discounts for national travel

For many disabled people, going on holiday can be a daunting prospect, with all the planning that is involved to ensure that the correct provisions are in place so that it stays as stress-free as possible. This is why travelling nationally is often a more attractive idea, with less distance to travel and a higher level of familiarity. However, this can still be stressful if you are not aware of the disability discounts and schemes in place to make travelling for disabled people easier in the UK. This guide will run through the main disability discounts for national travel that you need to know.

Disabled bus/tram pass

If you haven’t already, be sure to apply for a disabled bus pass for your area to make travelling far easier. For your home or staycation destination, check the local council’s scheme for disability transport services. Most will have discounted or free local travel on buses or trams for disabled people, although some will only offer this at off-peak times. It’s worth doing some research to find out the most accessible area with the best discounts – be aware that some remote countryside locations do not have any public transport links at all, so may be best avoided.

Freedom Pass

Whether you live in London and want to get out and about to enjoy the attractions or you will be travelling further afield, the capital has excellent disability transport schemes in place to make this easier and less expensive. The main disability discount that Londoners need to be aware of is the Disabled Freedom Pass. It allows you to travel for free on all buses, trams, DLR, and underground services, and between stations on National Rail/London overground services on the orange routes, given you fit the eligibility criteria. It also makes fares on river services and cable cars half price. Click here to learn more about London’s Freedom Pass.

London Taxi Card

However, for people whose disability means that they would struggle to use the Freedom Pass, there is another disability transport service in London. It is perhaps the least well-known disability discount, and it is called the London Disabled Person’s Taxi Card. It is designed for those with serious mobility or sight impairments to be able to get around London in taxis and minicabs, where otherwise they may struggle with buses, trains, and tubes. They result in a heavily discounted rate and mean you will be given a maximum fare when you book that will not change during the journey or due to the time of day.

London’s taxi card allows those with a disability to travel around in taxis and
minicabs for heavily discounted rates.

Blue Badge

Blue Badges allow disabled people to park in more convenient parking spaces and this could be invaluable if you are planning on taking a road trip. It is intended for on-street parking rather than off-street car parks which have their own separate rules, so keep this in mind. Your blue badge can be used almost anywhere in the UK so be sure to check local guidelines and display it clearly in the car so that the details can be read – you may also need to use the parking clock if you have parked in a space with a time restriction. Apply as soon as possible before you travel if you don’t already have one or if yours is due to expire soon. Click here to learn more about how to apply for a Blue Badge.

Disabled Persons Railcard

For UK-wide travelling on the rail network, the Disabled Persons Railcard is a must-have. It costs £20 for a year and gives you a third off all journeys, as well as for any adult travelling with you. It can be used any time for any service and is available to buy for three years at a discounted price of £54. Most trains have specialised areas for wheelchairs and accessible seats, as well as ramps to help you board and staff on the train and at the station to assist you. You can get in touch with the rail provider if you have any questions about their disability access. Here is our full guide to the Disabled Persons Railcard.

The Disabled Person’s Railcard can be used any time and for any service.

National Express Disabled Coachcard

Although coaches can be slower than the train, they can be a good alternative because there is often no need to swap services making it more accessible and less stressful, plus it can often work out cheaper. National Express offers a Disabled Coachcard that entitles you to a third off all Standard and Fully Flexible fares and it costs just £12.50 per year. They also offer £15 mid-weekday returns on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Most of their coaches have a passenger lift and onboard manual wheelchairs, and they serve many UK towns, cities, and airports.

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