Your transport needs should be a key part of your care plan as this can make a real practical difference to how well you can manage daily life with your family.
Ask your care team about help with any transport issues, such as learning to drive, accessing specially adapted car seats, transport being provided if you have bulky equipment and help with accessing the Blue Badge Scheme for disabled parking.
You might also be able to join the Motability Scheme which enables disabled people to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair by exchanging their Government funded mobility allowance.
This factsheet provides details of organisations that provide a wealth of information about travel and transport for those with disabilities and/or mobility problems.
Blue Badge Scheme
The Blue Badge Scheme is an arrangement that gives a range of parking concessions to disabled motorists and to parents of disabled children over the age of three, although it is available to younger children with specific medical conditions. The concessions apply to on-street parking regulations, although if you have do have a Blue Badge for your child, you may be able to get other discounts, for example on some toll bridges. The scheme is designed to help disabled motorists and parents of disabled children to overcome barriers to mobility – it is not a right, and use of the Blue Badge does not permit the user to park in any way that may cause an obstruction or a danger to other road users. Special arrangements apply in central London, on London’s ‘Red Routes’ and in some other town centres. Further information is available here.
As parents of a disabled child, you can use the Motability Scheme as a way of obtaining a car. The scheme is directed and overseen by Motability, which is a national charity. The scheme is open to parents of disabled children who receive the higher rate component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). However, purchasing an adapted car through Motability can work out to be quite an expensive option. For information on the Motability Scheme, visit www.motability.co.uk.
If your child is awarded the highest rate of DLA mobility component, you may be exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty. Claimants are usually told about this when they are notified about the award of the high rate DLA mobility component. If you haven’t received any information and you think you qualify, phone the DLA Unit on 0845 7123 456.
Home to school journeys
For advice and information on home to school transport see the Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) website: www.ipsea.org.uk.
Transport and travel door to door
The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) offers advice on transport and travel for disabled and less mobile people.
This website has contact details for your local authority Public Transport department and information about accessible taxis, facilities and fare concessions for disabled travellers on public transport in your area. Some areas also publish a guide to accessible transport services.
This website enables you to search for accessible routes through each Underground station, prioritising your search according to your needs. The routes available include both street-level to platform, and platform to platform interchanges. The access details include the number of steps, lifts, escalators, walking distances, ramps and platform- to- train gap widths. The site also allows passengers to search for comprehensive information about each station, including car parking; toilets; services for visually impaired people; induction loops; and other access facilities.
In some areas, an essential, named carer accompanying the disabled person is also entitled to free travel. The scheme operates differently from one local authority to another, so get in touch with your local council to check out what’s available in your area.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has information on their website on air travel for disabled travellers.
Whizz-Kidz provides disabled children with customised mobility equipment, training, advice and life skills and gives them the independence to be themselves. www.whizz-kidz.org.uk Tel: 0207 233 6600 Email: email@example.com.