If you or the person you care for is disabled it is good to know that there is help available to make travelling a bit easier. This section looks at the range of services, locally and nationally, which help disabled people and their carers on journeys within Southwark and beyond.
The Freedom Pass allows disabled and older people free bus, underground and rail travel throughout London.
Older and disabled people can obtain reduced rail fares if they purchase a Senior Railcard or Disabled Persons Railcard. Wheelchair users who do not have a railcard can get discounts on rail tickets for themselves and one travelling companion.
Many carers are eligible to receive financial assistance from Southwark Carers with cab fares, trains, oyster cards and petrol expenses.
Many bus routes are served by wheelchair accessible Mobility Buses or Low Floor Buses. The Stationlink service is an accessible bus route which connects London’s mainline rail stations.
Some disabled people are entitled to a Blue Badge which allows them certain parking concessions when travelling as either driver or passenger. To apply, contact the Disabilities Office. You do not need to be a car owner to have a Blue Badge.
At the present time Southwark do not offer a carer’s permit scheme giving similar concessions to carers but a carer can use a blue badge in their car if carrying a blue badge holder.
People in receipt of the higher rate mobility component of DLA may apply for exemption from Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax). Contact the Disability Benefits Unit to apply.
Motability is a national charity that assists disabled people to become more mobile by helping them use the higher rate DLA mobility component to lease or buy a vehicle which meets their needs, such as a car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
Buggies and Scooters
Some people find that low speed buggies or scooters are a great aid to their mobility. Advice on choosing a vehicle is available from the Disabled Living Foundation and Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation – Mobility Centre (where clients can try a range of scooters and wheelchairs).
If someone you care for has a permanent need for a wheelchair they will be provided with one by the NHS. You need to ask your GP for a referral to be assessed.
The Disabled Living Foundation provides information on hiring wheelchairs and on choosing manual and electric wheelchairs.
DOOR-TO-DOOR TRANSPORT SCHEMES
Dial-a-Ride is a door-to-door transport service for people with disabilities that prevent them from using public transport. The service is geared around local journeys. There is no charge to Dial-a-Ride member. Carers can travel with the disabled person with prior arrangement. If you are a member of the Taxicard scheme you are automatically eligible to register with Dial-a- Ride and journey bookings can be made from 2 weeks to a day in advance.
Most licensed taxis in London are wheelchair accessible. Computer Cabs operate bookable cabs throughout London. Minicabs are usually not fully wheelchair accessible, although many disabled people and their carers find them more convenient.
London Taxicard scheme
Disabled people who are unable to use public transport may be eligible for subsidised taxi journeys using the Taxicard scheme. Users pay a minimum of £2.50 per trip and Southwark Council pay the additional fare up to £10.30.
Carers and companions can travel at the same time for a small fee.
Capital Call is a complementary service to Taxicard, providing subsidized door-to-door transport for people with mobility issues, using private hire vehicles (minicabs).
Please note that Capital Call is not a replacement service for Taxicard; you may use both services if you wish. Capital Call provides you with an annual budget to use when booking minicabs through Capital Call. To request a registration form call 020 7275 2446 or write using contact details.
It is possible to hire an accessible minibus, with or without a driver, for group holidays and outings. Southwark Disablement Association (SDA) can provide information on organisations to contact.