Transport help for people with epilepsy

4th October 2018

Transport can be a major issue for people with epilepsy, especially if seizures prevent them from holding a valid driving licence. In the current day, regularly using public transport can be just as expensive as owning and running a car. The price of bus and train fare has continued to rise, as has the cost of taxis and other forms of transportation. However, quite rightly, there are a number of initiatives in the UK to help people with epilepsy with their transport needs.

It’s important to research what you’re entitled to ensure that you don’t pay too much for public transport. It’s quite likely that there’s a government initiative that could help you to save money and get around as easily as possible. It’s also worth noting that different areas of the country sometimes have different discounts available, so be sure to research those in the area you are a resident.

By train…

If your epilepsy prevents you from driving, you should be able to apply for a Disabled Person’s Railcard. This will give you discounted train fare anywhere in the England, Scotland and Wales. Using this railcard you can claim a third off all train fares for yourself and a companion, which is ideal for those who require company and support during travelling.

https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/

By bus…

You should be eligible to claim a free National Bus Pass, this offers free bus travel throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland during off-peak times (9:30 am – 11 pm) and all day at weekends and bank holidays. In order to claim your free pass, you may have to prove that you are unable to drive because you have epilepsy. This may include a letter from the DVLA and a prescription detailing your anti-epileptic drugs.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-disabled-bus-pass
https://www.mygov.scot/disabled-bus-pass/
https://gov.wales/topics/transport/public/concessionary/?lang=en
https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/information-and-services/bus-and-coach-travel/free-bus-travel-and-concessions

By coach…

Many coach companies offer extra discounts for people who have epilepsy. When booking coach travel it’s worth enquiring as to whether that particular firm offers a discount. You can also check their website for more information.

City travel – London

Getting around in the capital may be difficult, and also takes a variety of different types of public transport to complete a single journey. People in London with epilepsy may be able to apply for a Freedom Pass, which gives free access to bus, train, tram and tube in the city. As I’m sure you can appreciate, this can be a huge help for people with epilepsy navigating London on a regular basis.

Research your local city councils to see if they offer a similar initiative.

https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/freedom-pass

Other transport help for people with epilepsy

There are a variety of other initiatives that can be claimed, including community transport services for those who can’t drive and have difficulties using public transport. Dial-a-Ride, for example, can help those who require wheelchair-friendly transport or others who may find it difficult. However, there is a fare, but efforts are made to keep it as low as possible,

The Access to Work scheme may be available in your area, which can offer a rebate on the fares you spend to travel to and from work. You can ask for more information on this at your local Jobcentre or visit https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work.

The Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme is also available to help people financially with transport costs to doctors appointments, hospital visits and other journeys related to healthcare. Travel costs can soon start to mount up, especially when you’re required to attend numerous appointments.

Find more information on this scheme here: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/help-with-health-costs/healthcare-travel-costs-scheme-htcs/

National Epilepsy Training can help

For more information on transport or advice on what help you are legally entitled to, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 01706 373075 or email admin@nationalepilepsytraining.co.uk.