Skip to main content

Travel Assistance

Having access to suitable transport can make a big difference to someone with additional needs.

This section has information about: home to school travel assistance for eligible children and young people with special educational needs/ and or disability (SEND); discounted travel schemes and passes; help with parking in the borough; flexible working arrangements for working parents as well as accessible places of interest- including TFL step free tube maps. 

Don’t forget to look under ‘useful reading’ and ‘useful links’ where you will find more handy information such as staying safe plus more. 

Travel Schemes and Passes

Below are discount schemes and passes that you may be eligible to apply for.

The London Taxicard Scheme

Provides subsidised transport in taxis and private hire vehicles (minicabs) for people with serious mobility or visual impairments who find it very difficult or impossible to use mainstream public transport such as buses and tubes. The scheme is managed by London Councils and is jointly funded by Ealing Council and Transport for London.

Ealing Plus Bus / Ealing Community Transport

An accessible and affordable door-to-door minibus service for people who cannot access public transport due to age, disability, or poor health. You can find out more about Ealing Plus Bus / Community Transport here.

Transport for London (TfL) Travel Pass/Oyster Card

This allows free travel on buses and trams for children of school age up until the end of the academic year in which they turn 16.

18+ Student Oyster photocard offers discounted travel if you're aged 18 or over, a student and living in a London borough

For further information and details about how to apply go to the Transport for London website, your local underground station or post office.

Transport for London (TfL) 'Please Offer Me a Seat' Badge

This badge is available for free to passengers with hidden conditions and illnesses that are not easily noticed, such as vision impairments. The badge can be used across the entire TFL network, including buses, London Underground, Overground, and waiting areas on station platforms. TFL have advised that they will not ask customers requesting a badge for their medical history or supporting documentation.
Those wishing to apply for a free badge can do so by visiting the TfL website.

Disabled Persons Freedom Pass 

Gives people with disabilities or visual impairments, and older people free travel on buses, underground, trains, trams and DLR services.

A Disabled Persons Railcard 

Offers one third off rail fares throughout Great Britain for those who are eligible.

Dial-a-Ride.

This is a TFL free door-to-door service for those with permanent or long-term disabilities.

Driving and Parking

Blue Badge Scheme

A national arrangement of parking concessions for people with severe walking difficulties who travel either as passengers or are registered blind. You can apply on the Gov.uk website.

You can find out more about this scheme in the blue badge information resource, found under useful resources.  

The Motability Scheme

Provides help with leasing a car if your child is aged three or over and is entitled to either the:   

• Higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance
• Enhanced mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
To help with the cost of driving you may be able to get:
• Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which helps with mobility costs
• Vehicle tax exemption or reduction

Visit the Gov.uk website for more information about driving with a disability, and concessions you may be entitled to.

Travel Assistance provided by the Local Authority

For some children, the Local Authority may be required to make suitable free travel arrangements to enable them to attend school.  We call this Travel Assistance. 

For a small number of children/young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), Ealing Council offers a range of travel assistance options. 

 Travel assistance can come in a variety of forms including:  

  • Independent Travel Training (ITT)
  • A Personal Independence Budget (PIB) paid to the parent, carer or young person.
  • Local authority arranged transport

The aim is to safely maximise the independence of young people now and in the future. 

Where travel assistance is requested, a travel assessor will discuss travel options with the young person, parent or carer and will recommend travel arrangements which are most suitable for the child or young person. This arrangement will be regularly reassessed to ensure it remains appropriate to the needs and abilities of the child or young person as they get older.

Ealing’s Independent Travel Policy

Ealing’s Independent Travel Policy sets out the arrangements for meeting our statutory duty for eligible children and young people.

Independant Travel Training

Ealing Council's Travel Training enables students with SEND to travel safely and independently to their place of learning. Travel Training is a fantastic way to increase confidence and independence and is an important life skill. The training not only allows young people to get to their place of learning independently, but also enhances their social life and ability to access further education and employment as they get older.

On average, the training will take 12 weeks, but this might be longer or shorter depending on how long it takes the student and their family to feel confident with independent travel.

How to apply

To apply for, or to discuss your child or young person’s suitability for travel training, contact the Travel Independence Hub at senta@ealing.gov.uk

Personal Independant Budgets (PIB)

Personal Independence Budgets are a payment the council makes to families that enables them to make their own travel arrangements such as paying for bus fares or car mileage.

Personal Independence Budgets are a popular travel assistance option for Ealing families, with more and more families opting to organise their own arrangements.

How does it work?

Your budget will be calculated based on 190 days in the school year and you will receive a payment every four weeks to cover the costs of arrangements which enable you and the young person make their journey.

What are the benefits?  

• Travel arrangements can be made to fit around work and other family commitments and the needs of the child or young person

• Families have greater control over the travel arrangements for their child or young person. For example, the money can be used to ;

- Using the family car

- Pay a carer to provide support

- Pay for a parent or carer to travel on public transport with the child or young person.

- Organise joint travel arrangements with other families

- Pay for breakfast or after school clubs that mean families are more able to drop and pick up their child or young person.

• Flexibility to change times can allow the child or young person to be more independent and access clubs and activities or visit friends after school or college.

You have a statutory right to request flexible working hours, find out more at www.gov.uk/flexible-working

How to apply

To apply for, or to discuss flexible working and/or Personal Independence Budgets to support your child or young person’s independence, please contact the Travel Independence Hub at senta@ealing.gov.uk

Arranged Transport

Ealing Council arranges transport for pupils in some circumstances. This might include minibuses, coaches or taxis depending on the planned routes of vehicles and the needs of the child or young person.

How does it work?

Journeys on arranged transport are generally longer and less flexible than other travel assistance options. Transport is planned to collect a group of children or young people from agreed collection points, although in exceptional circumstances a  home pick up may be arranged.

To apply for arranged transport please complete the online application, or contact senta@ealing.gov.uk

Eligibility for Travel Assistance

Transport assistance is available to learners with SEND up to the age of 25. Each case will be considered individually against the following criteria:

Ages 0–5: The Council has no legal duty to provide travel assistance to children under five, however we can provide some support to children in need or in exceptional circumstances.

Ages 5–16: The travel assistance at the Council offers will depend on the complexity of a child or young person’s needs and the distance of the journey to their place of learning. In considering each case we look at:

  • Whether the child lives more than two miles (for children under eight years of age) or three miles (for children over eight years) from their nearest suitable school or college.
  • Wider family context e.g. parents with disabilities, travel arrangements for other children.
  • Whether it is reasonable for the child to walk or travel on public transport without assistance due to their special needs. 

You can read more about eligibility for travel assistance in Ealing's Independant Travel Policy for Children and Young People up to 16 years of age.

Ages 16–25: The Council has no legal duty to provide travel assistance to young people aged over 16. The assistance we offer is discretionary and based on an assessment of the young person’s needs. Applications need to be made before the start of a course. Students applying for courses outside of Ealing can access concessionary travel through Transport for London.

You can read more about eligibility for travel assistance in Ealing's Independant Travel Policy for Post 16 Young People Accessing Further Education.

Who to contact and how to apply

If you would like to apply for travel assistance, please complete the application form which will be submitted to Ealing Council's Travel Assessor.

To discuss your application or change your travel assistance through Independent Travel Training or a Personal Independence Budget, please contact the Travel Independence Hub at senta@ealing.gov.uk.

If your child or young person already accesses travel assistance your contact is below

  • Independent Travel Training (ITT):  020 8825 8033 or emailing senta@ealing.gov.uk
  • A Personal Independence Budget (PIB) paid to the parent, carer or young person : 020 8825 8033  or emailing senta@ealing.gov.uk 
  • Local Authority Arranged Transport:  phone: 020 8825 5544 or emailing sent-transport@ealing.gov.uk 

Flexible working

All employees can apply for flexible working if they’ve worked continuously for the same employer for at least 26 weeks.

Flexible working arrangements can support parents and carers to drop and pick up children or young people from their place of learning.

You have a statutory right to request flexible working hours, find out more at www.gov.uk/flexible-working 

Accessible places and transport

Visit www.tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility for further information about accessible transport options in London. 

Visitlondon.com also has details about attractions and places to go in the capital for people with disabilities and access requirements. 

The Transport for London  travel mentoring service offers advice on planning journeys with accessible routes, and help for people with mobility scooters and aids on bus services. Mentors will even come along for your first journey.  

Tel: 020 3054 4361 (TfL call charges)

Email: travelmentor@tfl.gov.uk

AccessAble is a website which can provide you with detailed information on a venues access, whether this be a restaurant, hotel, or cinema. You can search via postcode to find venues near you.  

Useful resources

Back to top