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Travel Pass for Disabled Son Visiting London?

By: Jonathan Webb - Updated: 10 Mar 2016 | comments*Discuss
Travel Pass Disabled Public Transport


My son is 16 and goes to a special school for moderate to severe learning difficulties. He receives disability living allowance and mobility and is therefore entitled to a free pass for public transport issued by our local council in the North East of England. We will be having a break in London in the summer and I would like to know whether this pass would be valid on the London underground and bus services - or if there is a similar pass I can apply for to use during our visit?

(D.K, 8 July 2009)


The London freedom pass is only available to those people living in London. This is because funding for the pass comes from local authorities. Holders of this pass are allowed free travel on the city's tube,tram and bus network 24 hours a day,seven days a week. However the national free travel bus pass,introduced in April 2006 for those over 60 or with an eligible disability, allows you to travel on off peak bus services anywhere in England including London.

The main difference between this and the London freedom pass is that it is bus only and has time restrictions imposed on it. Off peak travel is normally classed as between 9.30 am until 11 pm Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday in addition to bank holidays.

For those passengers that can find getting on and off buses difficult, low-floor vehicles are in operation on all London routes. There are however a number of heritage Routemaster buses that operate on the 9 and 15 routes. Low-floor buses are able to be lowered to street level once they have stopped and the doors have been opened.

If you are a wheelchair user you are entitled to free travel on London buses and there is no need for you to show a ticket or pass. However anyone accompanying a wheelchair user must hold a valid pass or ticket or pay the correct fare. Buses are able to accommodate wheelchairs that are no bigger than 70cm in width and 120cm in length.

  • The national free travel pass is usually not available for use on non-standard bus services, these can include a bus service where all or most of the seats can be reserved. A coach is a typical example of this.
  • A service which is run on a temporary basis. This could be a shuttle bus service introduced for a short period to serve special events.
  • A bus service run especially for tourists or a bus that is of historical interest. Open-top tour buses for example.
  • A bus service that is run in place of a rail service. This is usually because of engineering work.
  • A service where extras are included in the fare. These can include refreshments or car parking.

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Hello, I know an individual who is deaf but with his hearing aid he has no problem with hearing or speaking / communicating with people. He is much stronger and capable than others. Amongmany thing he is entitle to have for free due to his disability he has also free travel card. Why deaf people with no mobility problems have free travel cards and by the same token why are they permitted to drive cars?This groups of people are completely spoiled whilst others make sacrifices to survive in this time of austerity. Kind regards S. West
Sylvia - 10-Mar-16 @ 3:49 AM
Hi, wondering if bus travel is still free for weelchair users in london?? Travelling there in september and would like to know what's free /what's not?? Should I buyLondon Pass to see things or am I free to most attractions? Thnaks for any help
cindy - 25-May-14 @ 3:06 AM
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