Help with travel costs
You may be entitled to free or discounted travel if your seizures mean you can’t have a driving licence (see section on driving and epilepsy).
Free bus travel throughout England
If you have had a seizure in the last year, and so wouldn’t be allowed to drive, you should be eligible for a free National Bus Pass. This can be used ‘off peak’ from 9.30am to 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and Bank Holidays, on local buses anywhere in England. Some local councils have additional travel discounts. You will usually need some proof that you are eligible for any discount. This might include a letter from the DVLA confirming that you are not able to drive, a copy of your prescription for anti-epileptic drugs, or proof that you are receiving certain welfare benefits.
Contact your local council to apply for a free bus pass.
See our bus campaign which calls for an end to time restrictions on the disabled person’s bus pass.
People with epilepsy who live in London may be entitled to a Freedom Pass, giving free bus, train, tram and tube travel throughout London.
Some London Boroughs have a ‘London Taxicard Scheme' for reduced cost taxi travel. You may be eligible if your epilepsy affects your ability to walk or makes it difficult to use public transport. You may need your GP to sign your application form.
Northern Ireland travel
People with epilepsy in Northern Ireland who would be refused a driving licence are eligible for a Half Fare SmartPass, which gives them a half fare discount on bus travel at any time of the day. You would need to show proof that you have been refused a driving licence. Visit the nidirect website for details.
People with epilepsy in Scotland who would be refused a driving licence are eligible for a Scotland-wide free bus travel pass. This allows free travel on local and long-distance bus services throughout Scotland at any time of the day. If you are on certain benefits, you may also be eligible for a companion to travel with you for free.
People with epilepsy in Wales are entitled to a bus pass that allows free local bus travel throughout Wales at any time of the day. Contact your local authority for details.
Travelling by coach
National Express gives discount fares for people with disabilities, including epilepsy, and other coach companies may offer similar discounts.
Contact National Express for details.
Travelling by train
People who are unable to drive due to their epilepsy can apply for a Disabled Person’s Railcard. This gives them, and a companion, a third off most train fares in England, Wales and Scotland. To apply, you need a copy of your Exemption Certificate for anti-epileptic drugs (for free prescriptions), a photocopy of your prescription or a letter from the DVLA saying that you are not allowed to drive. There is a charge for this railcard.
Community transport services
Community transport services include schemes such as Dial-a-Ride, for people who have difficulty using public transport or who need wheelchair-accessible transport. Community transport services vary from area to area.
The Access to Work scheme
If you are unable to use public transport due to your epilepsy, you may be able to get help towards the cost of getting to work through the Access to Work scheme. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus or visit the GOV.UK website for details.
The Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme
The Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme provides financial help towards transport costs for people on certain benefits or a low income. The scheme covers travel to hospital for NHS medical treatment but does not include routine GP or dentist appointments. Visit the NHS website for details or call the NHS Low income scheme helpline on 0300 330 1343.
Other travel benefits
If you qualify for certain benefits based on your mobility, you may be entitled to:
- a Blue Badge parking permit (that can be used by another driver when you are a passenger), which also entitles you to register for a full discount on the London congestion charge, and
- free road tax for a car registered in your name, or for a car which someone drives specifically for you as a passenger.
Visit the GOV.UK website for details.
Taken from our Driving and travel leaflet. Order this leaflet from our online shop as part of our 'first five free' offer.