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Free bus travel for people with epilepsy

These pages are about benefits in the UK. If you are looking for information about benefits in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation

If you would be refused a driving licence because of your epilepsy, you may be entitled to free bus travel (in England, Scotland and Wales) or half price bus travel (in Northern Ireland). You may also be entitled to free or reduced price bus travel if you get certain benefits. You are not eligible for a bus pass just because you have epilepsy. Click on the relevant country below to find out more.
England
Scotland
Wales
Northern Ireland

England

If you would be refused a driving licence

If you would be refused a driving licence because of your epilepsy, you are entitled to a disabled person’s bus pass.

If you are on certain benefits

You may also be entitled to a disabled person’s bus pass if you get certain benefits:
•    The higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
•    Personal Independence Payment with at least 8 points against the ‘Moving Around’ and/or the ‘Communicating Verbally’ activities

How it works

A disabled person’s bus pass can be used for free off-peak travel anywhere in England between 9.30am and 11.00pm Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and Bank Holidays. In some areas, for example Greater London, you can also travel free at other times. You may also get reduced local rail fares in some areas.
If you would not be able to travel without a companion you may be entitled to a pass that allows a companion to travel with you for free too.

How to apply

To apply for a disabled person’s bus pass, contact your local council or your local passenger transport authority. You will need to provide evidence that you are eligible for a disabled person’s bus pass. Check with your local authority what evidence they need. You can find their details in your local phone book, or by entering your post code at gov.uk/apply-for-disabled-bus-pass

Scotland

If you would be refused a driving licence

If you would be refused a driving licence because of your epilepsy, you are entitled to a disabled person’s bus pass with a National Entitlement Card. You are also entitled to a companion pass if you have a disabled child under 5.

If you are on certain benefits

You may be entitled to a disabled person’s bus pass with a National Entitlement Card if you, or your child, receive certain benefits including:

  • The higher or middle rate of the care component, or the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance

How it works

The National Entitlement Card allows you to travel free on virtually all registered local and long distance bus services in Scotland. You can use it at any time of day. In some areas you may also get free or discounted train travel. If you need a companion to help you use public transport, your National Entitlement Card may allow them free travel too.

How to apply

The Transport Scotland website has information on how to apply and what evidence you need to provide. You will need a form NCT003. These are available from Epilepsy Scotland.
To apply for a National Entitlement Card contact your local authority. You can find their details in the phone book or on the Transport Scotland website.

Wales

If you would be refused a driving licence

If you would be refused a driving licence because of your epilepsy, you are entitled to a disabled person’s bus pass.

If you are on certain benefits

You are also entitled to a disabled person’s bus pass if you receive certain benefits, including:

  • The higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
  • The mobility component of Personal Independence Payment

How it works

A disabled person’s bus pass entitles you to free travel on registered local bus services throughout Wales. It can be used at any time of day. If you would be unable to travel without a companion, you may be entitled to a companion pass. This allows you to take a companion with you free of charge.

The pass also entitles you to free travel on certain train lines in Wales.

How to apply

To apply for a disabled person’s bus pass contact your local authority. You will need to provide evidence that you are eligible for a disabled person’s bus pass. Check with your local authority what evidence they need. You can find their details in your local phone book.

Northern Ireland

If you would be refused a driving licence

You are entitled to a Half Fare SmartPass if:

  • You are aged between 17 and 59, and
  • You have been, or would be refused a driving licence because of your epilepsy, or
  • You have had your driving licence revoked because of your epilepsy

If you receive Disability Living Allowance
You are entitled to a Half Fare SmartPass if:

  • You are aged between 16 and 59, and
  • You have been awarded the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance

If you receive Personal Independence Payments
You are entitled to a Half Fare SmartPass if:

  • You are getting the standard or enhanced mobility component of Personal Independence Payment

How it works

The Half Price SmartPass entitles you to half price standard adult fares on scheduled bus and rail services in Northern Ireland.

How to apply

In person, from any staffed Translink bus or rail station

  • By telephoning 0845 600 0049
  • By sending an email to feedback@translink.co.uk. You should provide your name and full address, including post code

Epilepsy Action has a list of useful organisations for support with benefits.

Code: 
F134.04
Event Date: 
Friday 11 December 2015

This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.

  • Updated April 2019
    To be reviewed April 2020

Comments: read the 4 comments or add yours

Comments

If you have a disabled plus1 bus pass does it prevent you from travelling alone

Submitted by Elaine Parker on

Hi Elaine

 

I have checked a couple of local authority websites and they say you can use your bus pass with or without your companion. But it is worth checking this with your own local authority to be sure. You can use the link in the “How to apply” section of our Free bus travel information above to do this.

 

Regards

Mags

Epilepsy Action Helpline

Submitted by Mags - Epilepsy... on

Hi,
This page needs updating as the Wales section is now out of date. This morning (17/9/19) I found out about 10am they are scrapping the existing disabled people's all-Wales bus and train pass on 31/12/19. All disabled passes and 60+/elderly (they have started introducing a sliding scale of ages for eligibility for the pass) passes, will stop working then. You have to get a new pass. Local authorities are no longer issuing the pass. Transport for Wales immediately took down their site as soon as it opened, as too many people were trying to renew their passes. They say you should download the form from their website and post it. Or go to your council transport department, or a post office, to complete the form with help. You may need to email them an ID photo file, or post them a passport photo with the form. The paper form requires ID and documents many no longer have. It's not clear how to handle complex cases as the website is down. I've written to them to complain, and for clarification. The jury is still out in different epilepsy groups on whether I have to yet again reapply for a driving licence and be turned down and refunded. I don't have the funds, or the documents/ID. I no longer have a listed valid person to countersign my photo. It's taken 7 hours of trying so far, to sort out, and I've got nowhere. Meanwhile the pass expires in 2.5 months but once it took the DVLA 3 months to sort out my forced application for a driving licence.

Submitted by Karl on

Hi Karl.

Thanks a lot for this information. I hope you are able to get your pass renewed. We will definitely look into this and update it as appropriate. We have a team in Wales so I will be in touch with them  to check their understanding of the situation too.

Regards

Cherry  

Epilepsy Action Helpline Team

Submitted by Cherry - Epilep... on

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